Curing the Homework Blues
by Leigh Butler

Homework does not have to be a time consuming teeth-wrenching chore for your child. It can actually be an enjoyable experience -- one that he looks forward to each day.

As a parent, you can facilitate the homework process by learning a few tips and tricks.

HOMEWORK HAS A PURPOSE

This is probably the most overlooked aspect of effective and efficient homework completion. Children need to know "why" they have to do homework. They need to know "how" homework is going to benefit them? They need to know how homework fits into the general scheme of their education?

If they don't understand homework's purpose, the reason they have to do it, and how it will benefit them, then homework will be an unfulfilling experience. They will loathe the thought of doing it. And, its completion will be like pulling teeth.

Teachers give homework to reinforce skills that have been taught during the school day. Homework also gives the student the opportunity to get extra practice and work independently. Via homework, teachers are able to assess the progress of their students. From the results of this and other assessments (test, etc.), the teacher is better able to plan and meet the academic needs of their students.

If your child does not understand the purpose of homework, it is not likely that he will be enthusiastic about doing homework. If your child is not enthusiastic about doing homework, it will probably take him longer to finish, and he's probably not getting much reinforcement out of doing it.

Talk to your child about the purpose of homework today.

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

How well or how fast you complete any task is based upon your attitude about the task. This is true for homework also.

If your child has a negative attitude about homework, it will undoubtedly take him longer to complete it. Attitude is 90% of the battle.

Often parents get the impression that their child lacks the necessary skills to do homework independently because it takes their child so long to complete their homework. In many cases this is not true. The real problem is that the child just has a negative attitude about doing it so homework becomes a struggle.

Once you help your child change his attitude you have won 90% of the battle.

To help him change his negative attitude follow the tip above - talk to him about the purpose of homework. Also, make sure the environment is conducive to completing homework.

THE HOMEWORK ENVIRONMENT

Another key factor in curing the homework blues is the homework environment.

Having a set time and place to complete homework is important. It helps your child establish a routine. Your child knows that each evening at this time in this place he will be doing homework. You should make sure that the time and place fits into the family's schedule so there are no distractions or interruptions.

Distractions should be kept to a minimum. There should be no television, and you should discourage social phone calls for older children. Also, allow your child to listen to music only if it is not a distraction.

If you establish a routine and minimize distractions, your child will be less likely to rush through his assignments.

Curing the homework blues is not simple. There is no magical solution that works for all children. However, implementing these tips should provide some help.



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