Homework and Other Parental Punishments
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD-CCSP
As a former student, a teacher and a parent I have never fully understood homework. Our children spend the whole day at school and in my mind when they get home they deserve to be children. As parents we spend the whole day working or taking care of the household and the last thing we want to do at night is to do homework. And as a teacher the last thing I wanted to do at night was to grade homework that I was forced to give by the administration. With that being said homework is still a reality that we are faced with when we are in some way part of the education system. So, the question is how do we as parents best deal with it with the least amount of stress.
- If your children are in aftercare encourage them to get done as much as they can during the designated time and reward them for doing so
- Once they get home give them no more than 30 minutes to change, go to the restroom, have a snack and get their workspace ready and their homework folders out as well with the supplies they will need. Until they are in the third grade you will probably need to help with this but then they should be able to do this part on their own.
- Have them separate what they can do easily from what they need help with. Sit with them and answer their questions and help them through ONLY the assignments that they need direct supervision with. This should be minimal because it should be review. If you see that your child is truly struggling this may indicate the need for a teacher conference to better understand why your child is struggling. Are they off task, falling behind, or are the expectations too high?
- Now decide how long each task should take to complete if your child stays on task. For example, Math should take 20 minutes, Spelling 15, and Science 30.
- Set the timer for 20 minutes. When it beeps it means math is done. Teach your child to pace themselves. 20 questions means 1 minute per question. Set the timer for 5 minutes for them to break and now set it for 15 minutes for Spelling.
- If they finish within the time limit with minimal errors, choose a reward. Extra game time, a special dessert, or a quick game of Uno.