Avoid the Pitfalls of Homework Time

According to studies, “children on an average spend about 90 minutes a night on homework.”  That’s the median.  Some kids take all night, some may never get to it. Recently, I blogged about strategies to counter-act disorganization and lack of focus that are due to neuro-developmental problems.  Following up on that, I’ll add some guidelines to get your child focused and into the homework mode, as impossible as that sounds.

Here are some suggestions:

Designate a work space.  Perhaps, the kitchen table may work, as long as it’s away from the distraction of the TV.

Help the child arrange the space as an optimal workspace with adequate light and plenty of surface area.  If it’s in the bedroom, shelves should contain a dictionary and other research books.

Have the child work at the same time and place every night if possible.  Perhaps after school or after dinner. No, “ifs, ands, or buts”.

Suggest to the child that he / she do the most difficult assignment first – the one that is most stressful – which means once it’s done, it’s all downhill after that.

Definitely monitor the child’s progress.  Don’t do the homework for him, but there’s nothing wrong with giving a little support, and making sure the assignment is complete for the next day.  Make it a point to check over the child’s work.

Don’t pretend you know something when you don’t.  You could turn the homework into a negative experience, and cause a lot of stress for both of you.  Get an older student or a tutor as a buffer.

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