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Help Your Child with Homework

  • 2002 22 May
Help Your Child with Homework
Homework can create havoc in the lives of parents, teachers, and students. There are so many different viewpoints about its value that there is no firm place to stand. ...

Some teachers have strong beliefs that homework should be given daily, while others see little or no value in assigning it. Some school systems demand that teachers give homework, and many parents insist upon it. Strong emotions arise when homework is discussed, and research supports every position. ...

Following are some suggestions that have proven successful for parents whose children are struggling with homework issues:

  • Set aside one night a week when the child teaches the family what he has learned in school.

  • Go to school weekly to collect the child's assignments. (This has been done even for high school students.)

  • Keep up with the child's assignments so you can casually include relevant questions and comments in daily conversation.

  • Invite the child to teach you a daily lesson.

  • Listen to biography or math-fact tapes when riding in the car with your child.

  • Read aloud to your child from textbooks and find ways to make the content understandable and enjoyable. For example, read a paragraph from a science book and make up a story using the facts you've just cited.

  • Get together with two or more families to form a homework club. Let the children take turns working at each other's homes.

  • If you love math, offer to help two or three children other than your own on a given night. If another parent loves English or some other subject, let them take the children another night.

  • Trade children with other parents for an evening and spend study time with someone else's kids. Children will often be more cooperative with adults other than their own mother and father.

  • Accept the fact that some students can actually do homework while listening to music.

  • If your homework-challenged child does well with choices, ask him something like, "Where would you like to do your homework - in the kitchen or in the dining room?"

The important element that leads to success with homework is to make the time as enjoyable as possible. If you find yourself resorting to threats and anger, reassess the situation and look for help.

Excerpted from Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow, copyright 2002 by Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., and Regina M. Kupecky, L.S.W. Used by permission of Pinon Press, Colorado Springs, Co., www.pinon.org. All rights reserved. For copies of the book, call 1-800-366-7788.

Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., coauthor of Adopting the Hurt Child, is the founder of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, specializing in working with adoptive families whose children experienced early trauma. He offers training regarding attachment disorders, both nationally and internationally. He's learned a lot from his two sons. Regina M. Kupecky, L.S.W., coauthor of Adopting the Hurt Child, has worked with adoption issues for more than twenty-five years. She currently treats children with attachment disorders at the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, and conducts training nationally and internationally on adoption-related topics.

Does your child struggle with his or her homework? If so, how have you tried to help? What encouragement would you like to offer other parents who are trying to help their children with homework? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.

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