Homework Issues?


Does your child have trouble completing homework tasks? Do they get frustrated or put it off until the last minute? Improve your child’s attitude and aptitude for homework with these simple steps.

Remain calm
Sure, you understand the consequences of your student not doing their homework, and their education is very important to you, but they may not understand why homework is important. When you become anxious, homework becomes a power struggle that will leave you both exhausted. Start by explaining why homework is important and outline the consequences of not doing homework both at home and at school. Unfinished homework should have consequences like reduced TV time, phone or computer time. You can also offer rewards for homework that is done on time without a fuss. If problems persist, liaise with your child’s teacher or tutor so that you can formulate a strategy together.

Understanding underlying issues
There may be reasons why your student doesn’t want to do their homework. Work with them or ask them about their homework to ascertain whether they may be finding it too difficult or overwhelming. If homework becomes a recurring issue, consider getting a tutor. A tutor can help to resolve any underlying issues your student has with completing homework tasks.
Tutors can identify your child’s learning style and work out study schedules that give them enough time to complete each task. Tutors can do homework with your student to provide help and encouragement. If your student understands the homework tasks with the help of a tutor, they will feel more confident in class. Tutors help to provide a deeper understanding of curriculum material.

For the easily distracted…
Set your student up in a well-lit space free of interruptions (Note: some individuals do work better in dim lighting). For the student who is easily distracted, try various techniques like playing classical music softly in the background. Classical music tends to help improve higher cognitive functioning. You can also reduce fidgeting with a stress ball.
You can also use a timer to do fifteen minutes of homework. Here the student works for fifteen minutes until the timer sounds. Then they can then get up and walk around for five minutes. This has the duel purposes of breaking up studying into manageable pieces and using movement to stimulate higher cognitive functioning. You can make the break sessions fun by having a five minute dance party or playing a quick game of catch.

Talk about it
Talk to the teacher, talk to your student and talk to the tutor. Communication is the best way to set boundaries, outline expectations and discuss the consequences of not doing homework. When students know exactly what is expected of them and the consequences of not fulfilling expectations, they are more likely to make a positive choice. Reward any improvements and work with your teachers to present a united front. Teachers and tutors have the best suggestions on how to cope with homework for hassle-free academic years.

Note: This post was adapted from a 10/1/2012 Tutor Doctor post titled “Hassle-Free Homework

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