Do you battle your child when it comes to homework? Are there tears and frustration, whining and pleading…mostly on your part? Does it seem like a twenty minute session runs into a three hour marathon?
You aren’t alone!
Following are some tips to help you when you are facing the homework battle:
Set a regular schedule and keep to it. Kids with learning problems such as ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia often grapple with the concept of time and need a routine to rely on.
Catch your child right after school when he/she is still in “school” mode. Transitions are often difficult for these kids, too, so bunker down, get it done and then it’s play time!
If your child is spending too much time on homework, talk to the teacher or the principal. Usually the district has guidelines on homework and will work with you to shorten the time spent on activities at home.
Keep your emotions in check. I know, easier said than done, but getting frustrated, cajoling, threatening, etc. only makes the student more nervous and anxious. Set firm guidelines and stick to them.
Make it fun and positive. Get a marble jar or something where you can keep track of time spent on task. Each math problem might earn a marble. When a defined amount of marbles are reached, it’s reward time! It doesn’t have to be an expensive toy. Playing a game with mom or dad or having a special movie will work wonders.
Don’t take too many breaks. Once a student is off task, it is difficult to get him/her back on task.
Break the homework into bite sized chunks. Do five math problems, stand up and stretch, then do five more. Many of these kids get overwhelmed by large amounts of homework.
Homework really doesn’t have to be a battle! If these suggestions don’t work, you might consider getting a 504 Plan, where there is more team effort in shortening lengthy homework assignments and making homework a more positive experience.