What may take one student 20 minutes to complete an assignment may take another student hours. For the struggling student and their parents, homework time can seem like a nightmare. Homework is meant to enrich the lesson that was taught at school. Math homework should be a time to practice skills, and help students become more fluent in mathematical operations. However, just the very thought of homework time can seem too overwhelming, causing students and their parents to become anxious, and the results of what is supposed to be learning; becomes calamity. Then the student gets into the habit of just getting this time over with instead of what he can learn.
I like solutions to problems! Here are some that have worked for many students:
- Create a homework schedule. Agree with your child a time when homework will be completed after school. Try to find a time when he is not tired, and no one is in a hurry to get some place.
- Designate a homework space.
- Have all supplies needed in the homework space. (Students can take long periods of time looking for a pencil)
- Set-up breaks during the homework allotted time. (short breaks)
- Conference with her teacher about what the teacher's expectaions are.
If your child continues to struggle, consider talking to your school counselor about setting up a 504 plan. This plan will give your child accommodations which may include reducing assignments into more manageable lengths. Of course, I also suggest tutoring. Tutoring can give the student and her parents a break for one or two nights a week. The student will do for a tutor what he may not do for his parents.
More than anything, be a role model for your child. Let them see you take the time to do your paperwork and not procrastinate. Also, encourage your child during homework time. You can guide your student but resist the urge to give them the answers. This can be hard when you see them frustrated and struggling.
Homework does not have to become a nightmare in the household. Don't be afraid to find the assistance needed to help you help your child!
By- Lori Spencer