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Parenting tips

mend 10-20 minutes of home- work per night in the first grade, and an additional 10 minutes per grade after that.

Learn What the Homework Rules Are

From Homework HeadacHes to Homework Help

13 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed at School Work by Janeen Lewis

study sessions? Let’s face it – homework can be hard for parents and children. But for savvy moms and dads, homework can be a connection to what their children are learning in school.


Follow these tips, and even the most homework-challenged parent can trade in the aspirin for a successful year of homework help.

Understand the Reason for Homework

Homework reinforces what is being taught in the classroom and teaches students important life skills – responsibility, time man- agement and task completion. That means parents shouldn’t be doing the homework for their children, and children should be able to complete the work with little help from parents. Your child shouldn’t come home with an entirely new concept to learn. Homework should be practice or an extension of what they’ve al- ready learned.

Know the Teacher’s Philosophy

Teachers have different philosophies about how much homework to assign. Some think piling on a ton of homework helps build character. Others think children have done enough work during the day and don’t assign any. Understand where your child’s teacher falls on the homework spectrum so you are not surprised as the homework does (or doesn’t) come home. If you are unsure of what a reasonable amount of homework is, The National Education Association and The National Parent Teacher Association recom-

12 Sep/Oct 2015

o you dread homework as much as your child does? When you think of the new school year do you envision stacks of books, piles of unfinished assignments and late-night

At Open House night, learn the homework policy of the school and your child’s teacher. How will the teacher treat lost or for- gotten homework? What are the consequences? Don’t be quick to bail your child out every time you get a frantic text message about forgotten homework. Remember, one of the purposes of homework is to teach your child responsibil- ity.

Get Organized

Your child should have a back- pack and homework folder to

carry assignments between home and school. Teachers of primary students usually send homework correspondence each night. As students get older, however, teachers usually expect them to write down homework lessons. If your older child’s teacher doesn’t re- quire students to record school work in an assignment book, pro- vide one yourself and teach your child how to fill it out.

Schedule a Consistent Time

With sports, service projects, church and community activities, it can be hard to schedule one set time every day to do homework. Aim for as much consistency as possible when scheduling home- work around after-school activities. In the end, if an activity begins to get in the way of completing school work, limit it. Send the mes- sage that school work is important.

Designate a Study Space

Pick a homework space free from distractions. However, con- sider your child’s personality and ability to focus when selecting a homework station. Some children concentrate best in complete quiet at the kitchen table or a desk. Others study well on their bed with background music. And reading areas can be creative like a reading tent or comfy bean bag. Make study areas free from video games, television and the games of other siblings who finish home- work early.

Create a Supply Caddy

Fill a plastic caddy or bin organizer with items your child might need for homework. Some good supplies are pencils, markers,

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