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Homework Habits for Student Success
By: Learning Consultant Heather Blome
For parents with kids in the Upper School, this is a message about homework to get you through the rest of the year. For parents with kids in the Lower School, here are some ways to conceptualize homework time with your family in the future to start good habits early.
The first approach to conducting homework time is to make homework time a part of your evening routine, which is how Dr. Peg Dawson recommends you approach it. Dr. Dawson is one of the co-authors of Smart but Scattered, which is a book I often recommend to parents of children struggling with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Children with or without ADHD can all benefit from these techniques she discussed about homework in a podcast. If it is assumed by all family members that homework time is between 6 and 7 every evening, for example, it will go much more smoothly for everyone.
Second, Dr. Dawson recommends that families do homework together with the understanding that the kids are in charge of their work and that the adult is there to provide support and assistance as needed. A great idea for parents is that they can bring their own “work” to do (e.g. paying bills, leftover work from the day, making a grocery list, etc.). A parent’s role during homework time is to provide the least amount of assistance to help their child be successful on his or her own.
Another key point is to consider the “life techniques” that homework is teaching your child. Homework can teach children:
How to make and follow a plan.
To get used to putting forth effort for something that is required or might not feel “fun.”
How to manage independent work and time management.
“Establishing a mental set” or “habits of mind.”
Lastly, please keep in mind if homework is taking a considerable amount of time that seems out of proportion for the child’s grade in school, parents should decide why it is taking so long. Parents can discuss this with their child’s teacher(s) or school staff to figure out the issue. Please note, that children with learning or attention issues may require more support than parents or teachers sometimes realize or understand.
As the learning consultant at Rossman, I am happy to help you put into place some “homework routines.” Let’s talk about what’s working and what’s not!
Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in Creve Coeur, is an independent preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills. Request a free Rossman School brochure here.