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Doing homework – some guidelines for your kids

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Doing homework – some guidelines for your kids

Regardless of whether you pursue that investigation or what the results are, you still need a plan for now that can help make homework manageable. Spending hours on third or fourth-grade homework is not typical, and I don’t think it is what the teacher intends, either. When homework or essay writing is this difficult, it becomes a time sink for everybody in the family. Your son is stuck at his desk all evening, and you’re working with both his academic struggle and his personal frustration.

  • Have a snack and break before homework starts. School is a long period of behaving nicely and sitting still. And since lunch was at least a few hours ago, kids are typically really hungry. That’s not a good state of mind to try to focus on More Work. Only through experimentation, you will get the best type of snack and break.
    • Consider what sort and how long of a break works best. If my son plays a video game before he starts on homework, his performance is radically worse. Something physical (even just running in circles outside) makes a big difference.
    • Also think about the type of snack. If he has pure carbs (e.g. a bagel) without any protein (e.g. a smear of peanut butter), he tends to fidget a lot more.
  • Stay nearby while he’s working. This depends a bit on the child. Sometimes they don’t want supervision or assistance, or may even be frustrated with the parent that is making them do work. However, there are some advantages.
    • If you can notice quickly that he’s working poorly, it’s easier to stop early than it is to have to redo the entire assignment. Reread the instructions, restate your and the teacher’s expectations (tidy handwriting, attention to work), etc.
    • If he has questions, he can easily ask rather than needing to go find you (or guess).
    • Just having company can be a comfort when doing something stressful.
    • Watch closely for exhaustion and frustration, and redirect as needed. Doing his homework when sad/angry isn’t productive. You mention that you take walks together; that’s a great idea. Find other, perhaps smaller/shorter, things that you can do that distract him (working on dinner preparation, playing with toys, random housework or repairs, cleaning).
  • Take small breaks between assignments, or even within assignments. A pile of homework can be overwhelming. A collection of shorter tasks, and a plan to finish, is much more achievable.
  • Praise his effort, and redirect self-demeaning statements. Putting in so many hours for what feels like so little result is a lot of work, emotionally and physically and mentally. When he cries that he’s stupid, come back with You’re not. I can tell you’re having a hard time, and I’m proud of you for working so hard. I’m here to help you get through it.
  • Consider a reward system, both short-term (when you’re done you can watch cartoons) and long-term (if you finish your homework for five days straight, you can get a new book). Any incentives like “this helps you learn” or “your teacher says you have to” are too abstract.
  • Keep asking for dialogue with his teacher. At only two weeks into the school year, that may be all she does know about him (he’s nice to classmates and isn’t causing trouble). She may not see the same stress, crying, and anger that you do at home.Show that you support your son and you are concerned, about both his lack of content mastery and about the impact on his self-esteem. Despite the opinion of most school-age children, teachers assign homework for practice, not torture. If that homework isn’t being done (or done well), then it isn’t achieving its goal and hopefully she can work with you to figure out what isn’t working and how it can be adjusted.

If this does not satisfy you, then go to google with “Hire someone to do my homework“.

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