Homework Handouts for Parents

How Much Time Should Be Spent on Homework?

Time spent on homework should be appropriate to the child’s grade level. At the elementary level homework should be brief, at your child’s ability level and involve frequent, voluntary and high interest activities. Young students require high levels of feedback and/or supervision to help them complete assignments correctly. Accurate homework completion is influenced by your child’s ability, the difficulty of the task, and the amount of feedback your child receives. When assigning homework, your child’s teachers may struggle to create a balance at this age between ability, task difficulty and feedback. Unfortunately, there are no simple guiding principles. We can… Read More »

The Importance of Avoiding Excessive Corrections

Excessive correction reduces everyone’s motivation and increases feelings of low self-worth. Be sensitive when providing feedback. Learning occurs in safe environments where children do not need to defend their actions, strategies or opinions. Some correction is necessary for children to learn what does not work or is inefficient. Most times, however, children will arrive at their own understanding. This process can be accelerated by asking your child if he or she can think of another way to complete the task. You can then guide your child specifically by asking him or her to think of a faster, more careful way,… Read More »

The Importance of Remaining Task Oriented

It is important for you to accept the feelings of frustration your children may occasionally have with homework. It is also important that you then redirect your child back to the current task, explaining what needs to be done and how to best to do it. Feeling frustrated, at times, is a normal occurrence of life. Nonetheless, if it occurs too frequently, there is a problem to be addressed. In response, if you become irritable or angry, your behavior will only heighten your anxiety as well as your child’s frustration. Perhaps a good initial question to ask your child is… Read More »

Helping Your Child Complete Boring Assignments

It would be wonderful in life if every activity were interesting. But you and your child know that is not the case. Sometimes we have to work on boring tasks, because they are necessary for everyday life. These not only include general household chores but for many children, some homework assignments, as well. There are two basic things you can do to help your child make a dull or boring homework task more enjoyable. Increase rewards your child will obtain after finishing a dull task. For example, what activities can your child look forward to? What snacks, games, or phone… Read More »

Helping Your Child Manage Difficult or Long-Term Assignments

Children struggling to manage difficult or long-term assignments will need to develop self-management skills. Some children are overwhelmed by multi-step projects or confusing assignments. Their first reaction is to ask for help or put the assignment off for another time. A number of strategies can help your child handle these types of assignments: Underlining. Use magic markers to highlight important parts of directions. Read all of the headings, table of contents, chapter questions and bolded words in reading assignments. Highlight or write them down if that helps. Highlight directions on any worksheet. If it is a math sheet, highlight symbols… Read More »

Helping Your Child Gain Independence with Homework

Eventually it will be important to transfer adult assistance to methods that will improve self-help for your child with homework. Remember that an important goal of homework is to develop independence and responsibility. Thus, the most important lesson to be learned from homework is how to complete it successfully the next time. Fostering independence is accomplished by moving your child from dependence on you to dependence on homework buddies and material resources (e.g., references, lists, reminders). Remember that focusing on what is right about your child is the best way to help him or her strengthen and develop homework completion… Read More »