Homework Helps

Hello TTWC family! As many of you know, since March 2012, I have been writing a weekly column for the online publication, MortarNBrique, entitled The Mommie in Me. Most of those columns were either reblogged to, or posted in their entirety on This and That With Calandra. Last week it was announced that MortarNBrique will be on hiatus until the new year, in order to revamp the publication. I do not know the future of The Mommie in Me, but I am using this “break” to continue writing weekly motherhood/parenting articles and sharing them here on TTWC. Look for them under the category “Special Features – Motherhood.” Having said that, here’s my first installment, which will hopefully offer tips on how to deal with homework issues. Enjoy!

In doing research for this article, I decided to reach out to my Facebook parents, asking them what challenges (or successes) they have had with doing homework with their children. I was excited by the answers I received, and even found some tips to follow myself. I decided to let the article write itself, based on their responses. I love that I have FB friends who are also wonderful parents. Here’s hoping you pick up some tips as well.

“One of my challenges is having the procedures I’ve put into place at home followed when she’s away from home.” (SD, New York)

“While I am doing my work in my home office…or cooking dinner or whatever I am doing… I have my son to sit right across from me to do his homework. If he is in his room at his desk doing his homework, I will sit with him in his room and read, fold clothes or something. I do this to make sure that he is focusing. I require that he read everything aloud and then, before he even gets to what the real questions are, I ask him if he understands what he has just read and how it applies (depending on the subject). After he explains it, THEN we get to the real question. I ask him what answer he is going to provide. Whether he answers correctly or not, I ask him whether or not the answer that he has given is correct. He has to prove to me why the answer is correct. Does homework take an exorbitant amount of time? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes” (MW, Washington, DC)

“When my children were younger, I used to turn on the Closed Captions feature on the TV, so that my children would be “tricked” into reading while watching their favorite programs – which I only allowed on Friday and Saturday nights. They are currently both in High School and what we do now is read current event articles every week, and write a synopsis of the article and an alternate way they would have solved whatever challenges presented themselves in the article.” (IJ, Michigan)

“My son not paying attention. When I help him with his homework he expects for me to give him the answers without even trying. I get frustrated and he knows how to push my buttons.” (JB, North Carolina)

“[We] constantly go through changes regarding homework directions, proper grammar and writing. Once I lose my religion to make her understand the big picture then we are able to sit down and have a little fun doing her homework assignment. She is very argumentative at times, and it drives me crazy. Sometimes I’ll take her work and get some scrap paper to show her how she should do it.” (MK, New York)

“My biggest challenge… Is having patience when dealing with my child when she is being “under the table” lazy. Maybe it’s her way to prolong homework so we will spend more time together, or maybe it’s the Florida school system that treats 5 year olds like they are 3 year olds academically, or maybe it’s because my daughter was with me until she started school. Her language and academic skills became more advanced than that of her peers, which essentially made school “boring” to her.” (SG, Florida)

“I was a professional tutor for a number of years, and always found it easier than teaching my own kids. Buttons get pushed 🙂 One of the most useful things I’ve realized is that people have a lot of anxiety about writing, and the issue of how to start becomes an obstacle to getting anything done. In such cases I just tell them to start writing down ideas, and then to build around them. The introduction can actually be the last step!” (DL, Florida)

“I find the attention span an issue… But as for my daughter she is ok as long as I stay patient. It’s hard enough for them to be in school all day then come home to hours of homework at such a young age. I take breaks with her, have her pretend she’s the teacher teaching me. That helps both of our frustration because she likes to be in charge and it shows me how well she knows her work!” (MR, New York)

“I cheer when they get the right answer. I push them a little harder. And I try to give them a couple more questions than the actual assignment. Math is my class.” (DW, Maryland)

”Considering my girls were ADHD, it was always a challenge. I found when they were learning their multiplication tables, we sang them.” (SW, Pennsylvania)

“A set place and a set time works well!” (CT, New York)

“I think the main problem we dealt with about homework is taking the time to do it and not rushing right through it. We always remind [our daughter]  to read each problem or question, make sure she understands what they are asking and then answering it correctly. That also goes for studying for an exam – practice and review.” (RN, Massachusetts)

“The rule is no fun computer stuff until homework is completed. That has worked for us.” (WL, New York)

What homework challenges/successes have you had with your children? Please feel free to comment and share!

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