Do you do homework with your child? Well, my sons have been in school for one full week…and both of them have had minimal homework assignments since the first day. Michael is at the point where he just does his homework without complaining (for the most part). Sean is another story. Initially, he was very resistant to the daily work. After the first day, I looked at my husband Reggie and said, “Here we go again.”
A lot has been written about whether or not kids should even have to do homework. I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of homework. (As a kid, I did my homework on the bus on the way to school or in between classes and read the books that I really wanted to read at home. Also, recent research studies reveal that homework doesn’t lead to higher academic achievement.) In fact, I was very resistant to homework when Michael first started school a few years ago and seriously considered “opting out”. I’m glad that I didn’t though. I want my kids to know that they’re exceptional…but that they are not exceptions. If the rest of their class is doing homework, then they need to do it too. There are so many kids walking around NYC with some serious entitlement issues. Personally, I don’t want to add to that number. I also want my sons to respect their teachers at the highest level. Teachers go to school to learn their craft. I think that it’s a little arrogant of me to (in essence) say that I know how to do their job better than they do. If I ever actually feel that I can do a better job, then I will homeschool them!
Anyway, most things are easier the second time around. We had already gone through Michael’s resistance to doing homework in the past, so this time I felt better equipped to handle the homework drama. This “technique” works 90+ percent of the time at my home. I call it the “nap technique”. Basically, after I pick my kids up from school and we go to the playground (so that they can get rid of some of that built-up energy from being in school all day), I go and take a nap while they do their homework! It works out better this way. If I’m in the same room, they will grumble and whine. If I’m not there, they just do it.
My “part” is to make sure that they have a clean desk area and all of the supplies that they need in order to complete their homework before I disappear into my room. I also make sure that they are clear on what they actually need to do for their homework assignment(s). I let them know to do what they can and to save anything that they are not clear about and let me know at the end so that I can help them out then. (I rarely have to help out at the end.) Later in the night, when the kids are in bed, my husband checks to make sure that they got everything right and leaves a note for what they need to change – if anything – before they go to the school in the AM. (He’s better than I am. I would let them go with mistakes, so that the teachers can know what they need more help with learning. Then again, he is a teacher!)
Do you have any “homework help” techniques that make homework time around your home more pleasant?
-Grade-by-Grade Homework Help (Source: Parenting.com)
-What research says about the value of homework: Research review (Source: Center for Public Education)
-How Long Does It Take To Be a Teacher? (Source: Going Public)