Homework can be anxiety-provoking for parents and children. Many families are dual income households – meaning both parents work. If a child is in after school care and then comes home to a few hours of homework, it is easy to see how the demands on a parent’s and child’s time become pressed from all sides.
Children and parents are tired after a long day of work, school and perhaps even a sport. Anger, frustration, and tears may not be too far away when homework cannot be started until after dinner and takes a few hours. Managing homework may be critical to helping a child’s quality of life and restoring balance to a family.
Managing Homework Begins at School
A child’s teacher should have an idea about how long homework should take to complete. If a child cannot complete homework in the amount of time allotted by the teacher, discuss the situation with the teacher. For example, if a teacher assigns 30 minutes of homework that a child cannot complete in less than an hour, even when he is working hard, it may be too much homework.
Children learn skills like conflict resolution, time management, self-soothing, and independent thought through play and interaction. Advocate for manageable amounts of homework to restore balance to a child’s life.
After School Homework Clubs and Online Tutoring
By making use of after-school homework clubs and online tutoring programs, parents can improve the quality of time they spend with their children. Parents can encourage children to complete homework at school by instead engaging the child in a more pleasant activity or by reinforcing with rewards and privileges. Children desire interaction with parents and will commandeer time even when that time is spent doing homework. Children who are reassured of time with parents may be more motivated to begin and complete homework at school. Similarly, online tutoring can be used to allow parents to work with other children, make dinner and complete house chores. These after-school homework clubs also help kids with hand-eye coordination and focus while doing printable coloring pages.
Many schools offer online grades, essentially an online grade book, of a child’s daily progress. While this can be a lifesaver to busy parents who want to stay involved and do not want to wait until halfway through a semester to find out a child is struggling, there is a downside. Children whose every move and grade are monitored have no room to work independently, fail, and self-correct. When children depend on parents’ help, they will not learn to work on their own and take responsibility for their own success and failures. Online grade books are a good idea when used appropriately.
When parents begin in the classroom, utilize after school homework clubs and online tutoring, and make use of online grade books, the quality of family life should be improving. Some children may need additional help through individual tutoring, assessments for learning delays, or special education services available through the public school system.
Parents are the best advocates for their children and should continue communicating with teachers and consulting with professionals to restore balance to their children’s lives.