When your child consistently fails to complete homework assignments, you
need to step in. Can your child usually complete assignments with extra
assistance and encouragement? On most evenings, children should be able
to complete assignments independently. If they seem to require more
help from you than you think is reasonable, it's time to schedule an
appointment with the teacher, or consider outside tutoring help.
your concerns to the teacher. Ask if your child is able to complete
similar assignments in class. Even if your child is behind grade level,
you may need to set up a plan with the teacher to get your child back on
track with homework, possibly modifying the amount of homework until
your child catches up to grade level.
A Plan for Improvement
your children's specific plan for improvement must accommodate their
unique circumstances, there are several key principles to follow in
setting up that plan.
*Your children's homework is their responsibility. Your child needs to know what the assignments are, when they are due, and how much time to plan to complete them.*Establish clear expectations. What
do you and the teacher expect your child to do? Make these expectations
clear, and make sure your child understands that you and the teacher
are working together to define them. Often a meeting involving you, your
child, and the teacher is the best setting to establish expectations.
*Establish clear consequences.
Determine what will happen if your child fails to meet the expectations
you and the teacher have established, and let your child know what
consequences to expect. Identify several activities or privileges your
children enjoy every day. When they meet the established expectations,
they continue to enjoy their activities or privileges. When they don't,
some or all may be suspended. When you must suspend privileges, do so
matter-of-factly, without anger or emotion. Be consistent.
*Stay connected with your child's teacher. A
simple note home system is an easy and effective way to know whether
your child is meeting established expectations. Your child's teacher
just sends home a short note each day telling you whether your child has
completed and turned in assignments.
It's Never Too Late To Start
earlier in your child's school years that you can implement effective
homework practices, the more likely you are to shape homework as a
positive learning experience. However, it's never too late to start.
Even if your child has reached the grumbling and complaining stage, you
can still turn things around. Sit down with your child a time and in a
place where there are no distractions, and explain what you plan to do
and what you expect to accomplish. Involve children in your plans as
much as possible.
In reality, your child doesn't like fighting
about homework anymore than you do. Though you may hear complaints and
even encounter resistance at first, stick to your plan. Remember, stay
calm and keep it positive. In the end both you and your child will
appreciate having homework is just another routine in the day.