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The Afterschool Battle: Tips for Taking the Fight Out of Homework

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

With the school year well under way, the age old homework battle is probably in full force as well. We understand; when we were that age, teachers never dreamt of giving a 7 year old an hour of homework. The world has changed a lot, though, and teachers are just adapting new methods of helping our children learn as much as possible in the short amount of time that they have them. Help your little one make it through the homework this year without the tantrums and tears.

The best plan of action, as always, is to have a plan. Sit down with your child and set up a nightly homework plan that you will both work on together. Set up parameters of when they need to start by and what they have to wait until after homework to do. Maybe they need a stretch once they walk through the door, but they must be settled into working within 20 minutes of getting home. They can have their dinner, but no television or toys until their homework is completed and checked. It may start as a battle, but shortly this will become the common routine, without the agitation.

Make sure your little one has the best possible working environment to do their homework in. You know from personal experience how hard it can be to get work down with too many distractions going on around you. Have a clear surface for all work to be laid out and make sure that all distractions, such as computers and TVs are off.

Give your little student plenty of alone time to complete their work on their own. Having a parent nearby or over your shoulder can lead to performance anxiety or asking for aid unnecessarily. With a little alone time to complete their work (followed by a through checking, of course) you child will be able to feel a sense of accomplishment, rather than agitation.

Intervene only when out of complete necessity. Homework can be overwhelming, and a child’s first instinct is going to be to ask for help rather than figuring it out on their own. If a child already knows an answer off the top of their head, it’s simply memory. If the child has to figure out the answer on their own, they’ll actually learn the information. There will be times you do need to help them find their way to the answer, but other times, helping them will actually be doing them a disservice.

Encourage your child to be proud of their work and what they have accomplished. Children learn from what they observe. When homework and reading are important to their parents, it is important to them as well. Make sure to always go over the homework with them once they have completed it. If you can, go over all that needs to be done with them before hand, as well. Encourage your child to go through other items that will need to be done during the week or to read a book once they have completed it.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > The Afterschool Battle: Tips for Taking the Fight Out of Homework

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