Parenting: How to tame the homework monster

October 12, 2011

What can and should you do to ease the homework burden?

Obviously, you shouldn't do the homework for your child, or give them the answers even though they might ask.

But here are some concrete tips from educators Carol Davis and Alice Yang from their book PARENTS & TEACHERS WORKING TOGETHER.

Maybe their ideas will get your children in a rhythm so that homework doesn't become a drag and a source of arguments at home! Give their ideas a try!

SPOTLIGHT: HEALTHY HOMEWORK

What if you have homework and:

  • You don't know the assignment? Solution: Call a homework buddy to ask
  • You don't understand the questions? Solution: Ask your parent, siblings or a homework buddy to re-phrase the QUESTION, not to give you the answer
  • Is the TV on? Solution: Turn it off; ask for a quiet place to study, preferably the same spot every day
  • Does homework feel like work? Solution: Just deal with it; it is your "job"
  • Do you have company over? Solution: Do your homework before or after they come; or excuse yourself to go do your homework in a quiet place
  • Do you have something fun to do? Solution: Do your homework before or after a sporting event, a rehearsal, a family outing or dinner/TV time
  • You don't have the materials to do it? Solution: Make a homework toolbox with pencils, paper, markers, crayons, glue, a dictionary, a calculator, a ruler, etc. Keep it handy.
  • Most teachers are open to you emailing or calling them if your child is repeatedly struggling with the content or amount of nightly homework. But the subject is usually what the child has learned in school that day, so hopefully they'll have a basic idea of the topic. Most educators say they're hoping homework is a positive experience, but they're not looking for perfection. They usually send a homework page or notebook entry home with all the subjects listed that have homework assignments that night. So take a look every day with your child, ask questions about what they enjoy doing, what they're struggling with and help them brainstorm some answers.

    Good luck taming the homework monster!

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