Ann Dolin: Hi! I am Ann Dolin. Today we are talking all about how to help your child with homework. Now specifically we are going to address getting started with homework.
There are three general rules about homework time. They are same time, same place, same expectations and that means that generally your child should be starting homework at the same time each day. Now I realize that there may be soccer or violin practice or a host about other extra curricular activities, but research shows that if kids have the same schedule day-in and day-out, they will be much more successful and they are less likely to procrastinate.
They also need to be doing homework at the same place. We will talk about this a little bit more, later but at this point it's important to know that they have a designated area in which they do their homework each day. And also kids need to have the same expectations so this means that generally their privileges should be given after they have completed all of their homework or assignments and you have checked their assignment notebook if that is a necessary stuff. Once your child comes home from the school, it's important that he or she have a break. About a half-hour is an opt-able amount of time to have down time to relax and regroup after a long day. During that time you may want to consider setting a timer so that, for example, if you give your child the half-hour break you would set the timer for 30 minutes and then in that way, when the timer goes off it's not you, knocking your child to set the timer but it's the timer telling the child it's time to start homework and not that is key, it takes the emotion out of you being the bad guy.
Once the timer goes off and the break is over, have your child open his or her assignment notebook and show you what the assignments are for the day. Research shows that if kids do the hardest assignment first, they get more done in a shorter amount of time. So encourage your child to label those assignments in the order in which they will do them. Number one it would be the hardest assignment, that way, they know exactly what to do once that timer goes off and homework starts. And it takes the pressure off of you for having to insert yourself in this situation, remember the key to all of these homework skills is having the child to work more independently. Figuring out how much to help your child during homework is really an important question. Many parents want to do their very best and ensure that their child does quality work but they hover over their child and want to make sure that every last detail is followed. That is not necessary; homework is your child's not yours.
However, it's also not okay to just step back and not help at all. There really has to be a happy medium. So a good rule-of-thumb is instead of saying do you have any homework ask your child to show you his or her assignment notebook. That way you are more aware of what the teachers are assigning, you know what he or she has to do for homework. But that's up to them, they do their homework mostly independently. I will give you some tips and tools on that later, however, you want to also look at the final product to make sure that they are actually completing their work and then that its going into that binder and the bag pack the night before so its brought back to school in an organized fashion the next day.
So these are some tips on how to actually get started with homework. Next we will address tips for helping your disorganized child to get more organized and to get the job done.