Independent learning and study skills are important for all children, but the word “homework” is enough to make some students (and parents) cringe. If homework is a consistent struggle in your house, we’ve got a quick guide for remedying some of the specific problems you might be facing.
Problem number 1: Homework isn’t getting turned in.
How to fix it: Talk with your child’s teacher, or teachers, to pinpoint the specific issue. Does your child report losing materials needed to complete their assignments, or forgetting about homework altogether? If so, organization is probably the issue. On the other hand, if he or she is struggling with in-class assignments as well, extra tutoring may be needed in certain subjects.
Problem number 2: Student complains through homework.
How to fix it: There are a lot of complaints that happen around the homework table. It’s too hard! I’m tired! Why do I have so much homework? This is where parents can positively influence their children to find solutions rather than voice complaints. The reality is, students need adults to be invested in their academic success. A parent-student contract, like this sample, may help lay out expectations and decrease complaints.
Problem number 3: Student can’t focus at home.
How to fix it: Giving your student a specific time and space to complete homework can work wonders. At school, children thrive on routines, and their independent study is no different. Rather than having children complete homework at the dining table or in the living room, set up a study space, free from tv screens, loud siblings, and other distractions.
Problem number 4: Student is a perfectionist.
How to fix it: Having a student who cares deeply about their schoolwork shouldn’t be viewed as a problem, right? Wrong. In some cases, perfectionism can be debilitating. If you sense a great deal of stress around the homework table, emphasize the importance of the effort, not the grade. Set positive examples by handling challenges calmly and addressing issues logically.
Problem number 5: Student doesn’t care.
How to fix it: As students get older, they may not “see” the value of what they’re learning. You may hear, “When will I ever need to use this?” As children develop their own interests, they naturally shy away from certain subjects and lose interest in related schoolwork. This is where parents can help students make real-world connections. If a student could care less about math, but loves baseball, show him how statistics are used in the game and help him predict rates of his favorite players.
Looking for a new school?
Sometimes, homework struggles are not a reflection of the student, but of their learning environment. If you feel your student could benefit from passionate teachers and a supportive school community, we invite you to learn more about Northside Christian Academy.