Do you dread having to get your child to finish their homework? Do you know teachers feel the same frustration and understand your struggles? So what can we all do to better help support our students? Here are some helpful tips for parents and teachers to keep in mind.
- Speak to the student and see if you can figure out where the problem is (lack of understanding of a concept, too much for each class in one night)
- Choose a peer model to help support the student
- Make sure they wrote the assignment down correctly in their agenda or refer them to the website
- Lower the homework demand – send one thing home to do and build up some positive moments and then increase the demands
- Reinforce them for completing the homework! A green slip for a job well done
- Communication with parents at home and how they can support the student
- Encourage them to ask for help if needed
- Encourage them to stay after school in order to assess any issues with not understanding
- If time allows in class have students start the homework so they can access you for help before heading home
- Support students who might be struggling with executive functioning
- Make sure the homework provides practice rather than a new concept
- You can not make a student do homework – you can however encourage the positives of completing the work (confidence in the material, a positive reinforcer from you at home, a teacher who is not nagging them about assignments)
- Model good work/study habits, if your student is doing homework sit with them and work on a project you have (bill paying, your own homework or work project)
- Set up an environment conducive to doing work – quiet, less distractions
- Establish homework time rules/guidelines – must be done before the TV/video games go on, asking for help if needed, positive reinforcement for getting it done!
- Have a conversation with your student (not an argument) about what is frustrating for them and acknowledge their frustration, if appropriate share with the teacher as well
- Was there a time your student did do their homework? What has changed? Is there anything you can fix?
- Avoid the power struggle, support your student but if they are not available give them a break for a few minutes and try a different approach
- Research shows a parents involvement can either have a positive or negative impact on the value of homework, try hard to make it a positive situation and avoid the power struggle
The most important part to remember is that we are all devoted to the same goal! We all need to avoid the power struggle with students and rather look for positive supportive ways to encourage them. Helping our students learn appropriate work/study skills that will benefit them in the future and in becoming more independent!