With the ring of the first school bell of the year, families are transitioning from the laid-back summer routine and shifting into the busy school year routine. An important part of that routine is homework. Homework provides reinforcement of lessons taught at school and allows a child to practice responsibility.
First, decide upon a designated homework time. This may be tricky since many children participate in after school activities. Set aside a time each night that the whole family gathers to discuss what needs to be done and when assignments are due. With younger children, you may be required to check a daily folder. For older children, this may be just a frank conversation about what is going on in classes.
It can be the dining room table or you could invest in a desk in their room. Whatever works best for your family, there needs to be a designated place. In that space,you need to have school supplies easily accessible. This includes pencils, a sharpener, glue, highlighters and notebook paper. Now days, it also means Internet access. Be sure to monitor any younger child’s Internet usage for both content and getting off-task.
There is so much more to homework than the content of the worksheet. You can use the task of homework to teach your child important life skills. The first is responsibility. By emphasizing the importance of doing homework, teaches children important work ethic. Most kids will someday grow up to have a boss that will expect them to follow through on assigned tasks. It is never to early to begin instilling the value of “doing the job right,” in your child.
One of the common conundrums parents face is children who do their homework but do not turn it in. the homework task is an opportunity to teach and practice organization skills. Introduce the idea of using a planner if the teacher does not have their own system. For younger children a “homework folder” or a “to do” folder may be a good system. Begin each homework session by making a quick to do list and then let your child check off tasks as they are completed. By doing so, you are showing your child how to organize and prioritize.
I am convinced that most students do not want to be the kid that does not have his or her homework. It is embarrassing and for many students can lead to low self-esteem. While these suggestions seem like a lot of work on the parents part, they will pay off. A good homework routine is about establishing good homework habits. Like so many things, a little work on the front end can lead to a lifetime of good work habits.