In my workshops one of the most common questions I get is about homework. How to get the kids to do it? What is the parent’s role? So let’s talk about it.
But first. How do you like to receive your parenting information? Do you like to read books that you can hold in your hand or would you prefer to read on your smart phone, iPod, tablet or computer? Very soon you will have the choice when my books come out in digital format as well as the traditional print version. And, of course, we also have the downloadable MP3’s of three of my popular workshops.
Making Homework Work.
Jared is slumped down in the chair pouting. You are tearing your hair out. The tension in the house is palatable. Who knew this would be the most difficult part of parenting?
Yes, you guessed it. It’s homework time again. For two months you have been struggling with your child to handle the work they bring home from school.
And the worst news is that this is going to go on for twelve years. There has got to be a better way!
The first thing you want to do is meet with their teachers to find out just how much homework they have. This will not only tell you what you need to know but demonstrate to the teacher and your children that you plan on being involved.
Now sit down with your children to develop a homework plan. Let them talk about their needs and wishes.
When do they want to do homework? School is the work of children and most want a break after their classes.
Most adults who come home from work with a bulging briefcase want a chance to rest and eat before getting back to work. Well, most children generally want a snack and time to play before they tackle their homework.
Where do they want to do homework? While many children need a separate space like a desk in their bedroom, some children work best at the dining room table with the evening activity going on around them.
You can support their plan by taking phone messages for them while they study and by being available in case they need help. An encyclopedia and atlas are worthwhile investments if at all possible so children can do research at home whenever questions arise. These can be print books or on-line.
Besides on-line research, trips to the library are also important so they learn how to do manual research as well as borrowing books that match their interests, hobbies or dreams.
Your job is to help them develop a plan and be available as a consultant; theirs is to take the responsibility for doing the work. If they’re involved in setting the rules they’re more likely to follow them.
But remember, it’s their homework, not yours.