Homework: Whose Problem Is This?

Parents who are stressed and exhausted by helping with homework feel that way because they make their child’s homework their problem rather than their child’s. And it needn’t be that way!

Here are three things that you can stop doing right now so that the stress and exhaustion disappears.

Stop trying to ‘teach’ your child

You know the situation. Your child can’t do the work that has been set so you try to show him or her how to do it. You end up ‘teaching’ your child – and this is so not your job!

No wonder you get stressed.

Stop doing your child’s work.

Many parents are so hurried and anxious that they do their child’s homework for them! Parents have stayed up late to get a child’s project finished for a school deadline!

Whose homework is this?

Stop nagging your child to do their homework.

How many times do you remind your child that she has homework to do? Does she resent your nagging? I bet she does!

You get stressed over something that is not your problem.

So what can you do to avoid the stress and to stop your child’s homework being your problem.

* If you try to teach your child how to do the work chances are that you are not using the same method as the teacher – result – confusion.

Tell the teacher.

If your child is struggling to do his homework his teacher needs to know. For one reason or another your child has not learned how to do the work. It is his teacher’s responsibility to make sure that he knows what to do. A good teacher will welcome being told that your child has a problem and will either reteach the lesson or give you some tips about how to help your child.

* If you are doing your child’s work for him you are stopping your child learning.

Homework is set so that your child practices or demonstrates what he has learned. If you do your child’s homework the teacher is going to know how well YOU can do the work, not your child.

Now, if you want to show how clever you are go ahead – just don’t expect your child to get anything out of it!

Discover why your child does not get their work finished. Is it too hard? Too boring? Takes too long? Once you know the reason you can do something about it.

* If you nag your child to get homework done you are stopping your child taking responsibility for their own learning, as well as risking your relationship with your child.

Stop nagging!

The more you nag the more you take away your child’s sense of responsibility about their work. Your child stops thinking about when he has to do the work because he knows that you will remind him – again, and again, and again!

Set up reasonable expectations around doing homework such as homework will be done straight after dinner or before anyone watches TV. Make sure that your child agrees to them, then expect your child to take the responsibility of keeping to them.

Remember, homework is not your problem. You have other things to worry about and to do. If you spend your time worrying about your child’s homework these will not get done and your child will miss the learning opportunities only you can give him.

Homework is for your child to do – not you! Stop making it your problem and start doing things that will really make a difference to your child’s school success.

If you want tips on how to do this sign up for my free CD and you will also get my newsletter full of tips on the right way to help your child succeed in school.

Teaching Tips – The Three Types of Homework and Teaching

One of the hottest topics in education today is the issue of homework. It affects teachers, parents and students alike. Homework does have a purpose but in recent years teachers have abused its application. If teachers would return to the proper use of homework, I believe homework would no longer be such an ugly word.

So, what is the proper use of homework?

Well, first let’s discuss what homework isn’t. Homework isn’t a way for the teacher to make up for not having taught properly during class time. It is the teacher’s responsibility to teach, guide and finish the lesson. If the teacher doesn’t finish, it shouldn’t be dumped on the students as homework. The teacher needs to re-evaluate the situation and adjust her plans.

Although, homework is abused by many teachers to make up for their lack of preparation or ability to teach. There are legitimate uses for homework.

Such as:

  • Support
  • Practice and
  • Prepartion

Support homework are assignments like answering a set of prepared questions, completing a crossword puzzle or writing sentences for the latest spelling words. Support homework should be short and should reinforce what has already been done in class.

Practice homework would be assignments like math problems, chemical equations or flashcards that give extra practice in a certain skill. These types of assignments serve a very important purpose and a teacher should never misuse them.

Preparation homework would be reading assignments or maybe an internet assignment preparing your students for the new up and coming topic. The teachers expectations of the assignment should clearly spelled out so there is no misunderstandings.

All three of these are legitimate uses of homework. However, the teacher needs to keep the assignment short and specific. Large amounts of homework are usually signs of a poor teacher.

If you suspect that your child is getting excessive homework due to the teacher’s poor classroom performance. Don’t run straight to the principal. First, approach the teacher and let him know that you feel your child is receiving to much homework. Then, if you and the teacher can’t solve the problem take it to the principal. But always give the teacher the opportunity to correct it himself.

Homework done properly is wonderful teaching tool, but when it is misused it creates nothing but trouble.