Over the summer, I kept on seeing the same type of article I’ve been seeing for over a dozen years about how to help your kids succeed in school and with homework. By now I’m sure you’re as familiar with that advice as I am: establish a routine and schedule for homework; limit distractions during homework hours; assist your child in getting started or figuring out how to divide the assignments into smaller parts; praise your child for effort, etc.
I thought I would write my own 10 tips, which would lean more towards how to ease homework overload than how to set up a comfortable work station at home, but before I started typing I saw that Kerry Dickinson, someone I’ve written about many times (she was instrumental in changing homework policy in her Danville, California, community), had posted her top 10 tips on her new blog East Bay Homework Blogspot. While Kerry’s tips are different than mine would be, she has lots of good ideas.
Here are her first three tips:
1. Don’t over schedule your children this school year. Benefits: you save money, get more time at home as a family and are generally less stressed out when you’re not driving your kids around after school running from one activity to the next.
2. Don’t sign your child up for academic tutoring unless he/she is in jeopardy of failing a class. (Don’t pay for a tutor to boost a “C” or “B” to an “A”.) Benefits: same as in #1 and you are sending the message to your child that he/she is fine the way he/she is. You will trust the teachers to do their jobs. They will get a better indication of your child’s ability if your child isn’t getting extra outside help (this includes helps from you, too).
3. Don’t ask your kids about grades, test scores or homework. Instead, focus on the content of the subject. (Instead of “What did you get on the test?” say, “What are you learning in science?” If you are connected to some school communication tool (like Schoolloop) you can look at homework assignments and grades privately. Benefits: you are teaching them to take ownership of their own schedules. You are letting them manage their own time. You are taking the focus off scores and putting it on learning. You are alleviating stress in their lives.
Read the rest here. And if you have more to add, please leave a comment below.