Why do teachers give out homework when all it does for many children and their families is cause stress? Does your child’s homework cause you both stress every time it must be done? Is your child fighting you when you try to get him do his homework?
You are not alone. “Why do teachers give out homework?” is a question children frequently ask as a way of justifying their refusal. Becoming good at getting your child to do his or her homework means you must have a well thought out answer, one that is more “because you have to”.
Teachers give out homework because there is not enough time in a school day to get everything done and without homework children would lose any chance of a decent job, prosperity etc. This question and other similar questions, (such as “should homework be abolished) or your child asking you for all the answers to homework questions are one way many children avoid their homework – there are many others.
It takes a little time and a change of perspective on your child’s part to get them to accept that homework is very important and necessary. I’ve outlined below three effective methods that will help you help your son or daughter to make the most out of their homework assignments in a positive manner.
Don’t make homework into a chore or a job. Children do not respond well to something if it is programmed into their minds that it is something they have to do. Nobody likes to have to do anything, children are no different, if anything they feel the pressure more than adults as often they have yet to learn life skills to help them cope with pressure..
Adults often keep trying what isn’t working in spite of overwhelming proof that their methods are failing. If forcing children to do their homework was effective, then why do many resist for their entire school life and why do we have so many discouraged children dropping out of high school. If forcing them worked then we not have so many kids growing up with poor self esteem and not getting the college education that they should.
Below are 3 suggestions to help you plan ahead and get your child on the right track when it comes to doing homework:
1. Set up a daily schedule of when your child is to do his or her homework. Do not deviate from this routine. Turn off all distractions such as television, radio and computers (unless they are needed to complete the work) during this time. Your child will complain, but if you stick to it eventually your child will accept doing his homework at a specific time, particularly if his reward is the TV etc.
2. Refrain from supervising him or her too closely. Don’t check everything they do or be too overbearing and corrective. Give your child a choice of whether they want your help or not. Also, give them a choice of whether they want you to correct their homework papers or not. After a while, you will find that they will start coming to you for help, asking for advice, wanting you to double check their work. In the end result, sometimes less is more.
3. Listen to what your child has to say. Most homework stress and arguments start at the beginning of the session. If your child starts complaining about beginning an assignment then instead of debating or arguing with them, try listening to them. Empathize with your child and try to find the reason he is not starting. It could easily be that he doesn’t understand the question or genuinely doesn’t know the answer. Ask him what is wrong and be sincere. He may well ask your opinion on the homework and you must reply constructively and give him some ideas. You may be surprised to find that just asking will release their tension by talking with you he will begin the assigned homework.
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