Important Note: These may seem obvious to you, but they are not obvious or easy for many students. Each strategy will take instruction, practice, and monitoring in order to become comfortable and routine. Invest the time – it’s worth it!
- Determine a set-in-stone Homework Time for each day that will be kept free of appointments, phone calls, texting, etc.
- Set up a specific Homework Space that is well-lit, quiet, free from distractions, clear of clutter, and stocked with all of the materials needed.
- Teach students how to use an Assignment Sheet or Planner. Explore how it is organized, how/when to fill it in, and how to use it as a tool at home.
- Avoid misplaced homework. Determine exactly what should be done with homework when it is completed and practice putting it there for every single assignment.
- Getting homework turned-in. The student should visualize and orally talk through the procedure for turning in his homework in each class.
- Carefully review class syllabus and expectations. Put projects, tests, and other important dates in the planner, even if they are weeks or months away.
- Help students notice, carefully read, and understand written instructions before starting the assignment.
Real Answers to the Homework Battle
Most students do not prefer to do homework after school, so creating routines and structure around homework is beneficial for most families and for students of all ages.
HOWEVER, if your child is struggling with learning or attention challenges, structure alone is probably not enough. The tears, avoidance, and daily battles over homework are most likely rooted in the frustration of not being able to do the work or meet the expectations.
Academic success depends upon a solid foundation of underlying learning skills. These are skills that we just assume are in place – such as memory, attention, auditory and visual processing, motor coordination and control, processing speed, and language comprehension and expression.
If any of these underlying skills are weak, it can cause the student to have to work harder, longer, and less successfully than expected. It takes so much more effort, energy, and attention for these students to listen, read, and do written work at school, that when they get home, they are just “done,” they’re spent. The last thing they want to do is more schoolwork.
The great news is that these underlying learning skills can change. The neuroplasticity brain research tells us that through targeted and intensive training, the brain can change – new more efficient connections for learning can be made.
What our students have shown us in over 30 years of working with children and adults with learning and attention challenges is that once these underlying learning skills are developed and supporting them well, the reading, writing, spelling, or math can be remediated and stick. Students can go on to be the comfortable and independent learners they have the potential to be.
Are you Tired of the Homework Battle?
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