Homework can be an activity to build trust or it can create a battlefield. Amy Campbell, the counselor at the Rawson Saunders School for Dyslexia shares ideas with parents. I am grateful to Amy for sharing her important ideas on my blog.
Provide Support for Homework: Avoid a Homework Battle
Many parents inquire about the best way to support children with their homework (Thank you, parents!). Here are some general points to consider on how to make the most of homework time and facilitate a beneficial and hassle-free homework routine:
Create family learning time– Children develop attitudes about learning from their family. Show children that you value learning! Set aside a time each day to model the value of learning by enjoying a book, article, or webinar while your children do their homework.
Spend most of your time noticing their successes– Whether it’s effort, having materials, or the accuracy or quality of work, try to mainly focus on the positives and points of encouragement! Communicate with your child’s teacher about continual challenges and allow children to get help from teachers in those areas. Also, don’t spend too much time on homework! Communicate with teachers if your child’s homework is taking much longer than expected.
Help only as long as your child is doing most of the work– Remember that it is your child’s homework, not yours! Remind yourself (and them) that struggle is a normal part of the learning process. Allow your children the valuable opportunity to practice and achieve something difficult on their own.
Help only as long as it is really helpful– Homework can turn into a battle. Give yourself permission to say: “I know this is really hard and arguing about it is not helpful. I’m going to give both of us some space. Good luck with it.” Give them a hug and walk away.
Avoid battles by offering choices- Research indicates that giving children small, daily choices makes them more inclined to do their homework. For example: Are you going to do all of your homework right now, or are you going to do half now and the rest after dinner? Are you going to do your homework at the kitchen table or at the computer desk? Would you rather do your homework after school or at 4:00?
Ph.D. Counseling and Clinical Supervision (University of Virginia)
M.A. Counseling and School Counseling (West Virginia University)