Learning Curve- Less Homework Stress - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Learning Curve- Less Homework Stress

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Many area schools are having their fall Parent Teacher Conferences. One of the things that parents may think is that homework causes a lot of stress at home, and many times parents just suffer in silence and don't share that with the teachers during their conferences.

If parents are in power struggles with their children at home over homework, it can make for a pretty miserable 13 years of schooling. Power struggles begin with the parents' response to their child refusing to do their homework or not focusing and staying on task. 

If a child says in one way or another, "I'm not doing this and you can't make me,"  the parents' response should send the message, "You are absolutely right, but then here are the consequences."  So many parents don't want to allow their children to have to deal with the consequences at home--but especially at school, so they help their child or even do the homework for their child.

Parents having these problems should talk to the teacher. The general rule is that a child should have 10 minutes of homework each evening X their grade level (excluding reading times). If the child is spending far more than that, the parent should keep a one or two week log of the time spent and share it with the teacher.

Then together the teacher and parent can discuss the problem and diagnose what it actually is. There might be too much homework, the child may not understand the assignment before leaving the classroom, or the child may have difficulty focusing. 

Then the teacher and parent can discuss ideas for creating an ideal time and setting for homework, or adjusting the quantity of the homework, using various strategies like setting a timer for short bursts of homework time with breaks.

The parent's role is just to help make sure the child understands what he or she is to be doing. Don't nag or and don't micromanage. State your expectations and the consequences for not following them, don't restate. Give your child specific praise and stay close by to monitor what the child is doing.

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