Ann Dolin: I am Ann Dolin and today we are talking about how to help your child with homework. Now we will specifically talk about the rusher, the child who works as quickly as possible just to get done with homework paying very little attention to detail. Often these kids turn in subpart work, work that's riddled with errors or misspelled words and often sloppy handwriting too.
Their goal is to get done so that they could go on more pleasurable activities but as parents that are little things that we can do to help them pay more attention to detail.
The most important thing you can do to help the rusher is to provide expectations upfront. That means if your child works too quickly through homework, you don't want to say after they are done, I am sorry Mary this just isn't good enough you need to redo it. That's going to create a battle instead if you want to provide expectations before they even start. So let's say Mary has to do ten spelling sentences, you may want to focus on three areas you have anticipated or areas that are difficult for her that maybe messy handwriting or misspelled words or even very simple sentences that may not be complete.
So you would put those criteria on a three/five card or even a little posted note and put it next to her while she is doing that assignment so she knows upfront what she has to focus on in order to show you that she is on quality work. In that way, you are being proactive and you are not have been to correct her and have a redo something in the end.
Many parents asked what to do when their child are really just doesn't even care about the quality of her work and that's a tough one because it's an underlying motivational issue. However, you as a parent can set precedence and establish a regular homework time. Sometimes rushers not only want to get through their work quickly but they often want to be forthcoming with what work they have. So setting an established homework time based on grade level is important. For example, the general rule-of-thumb is that ten minutes of homework equates to each grade level, so for example, a second grader should have 20 minutes of homework, a fifth grader 50 minutes of homework. Set that as homework time each day, so say you fifth grader has 50 minutes of homework, it's build into their schedule and even if he comes home saying he has nothing to do or he did it in class, that time is to be used for other assignments, say for example, a long term project or organization but it's amazing when kids have a set homework time they will miraculously find assignments in their binder that they need to work on.
So this way they will know it doesn't matter how quickly they get through homework, they still have to take that time to work on school work. Determining appropriate expectations for your child during the homework time is an important issue. So many parents, I work with, want absolute perfection they want their child to turn in papers, the next day that are perfect. However, that is not the goal of homework. The goal of homework is to help your child practice the skills, he or she has learned in school and not every problem needs to be correct. The rule-of-thumb is that if they can demonstrate mastery about 90% correct it's okay to turn it in, not every last word needs to be spelled correctly and teachers need to know where the child is struggling as well. So it's important to oversee homework and make sure your child is on the right track, but its even more important that the homework is done just by the child and not your encouraging independence and your faster and a positive experience after school.
Hopefully, those tips will help your rusher be a little bit more careful during homework time. Next we are going to discuss the avoider, the child who avoids homework at all costs.