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Harmonious Homework Hints 101C

Posted on September 16, 2015 at 2:05 PM
Setting the Mood

1.  Do you or your child use a homework timer?  If so, does it motivate or upset your child?

2.  Do you ask questions to help him discover what works best for him?

For example, "Would it be better if you did the harder subjects first so you have something easy to look forward to?"

3.  When your child encounters difficulty with her homework, do you build independence by asking questions rather than giving her the answer?

For example, if your child is asking how to spell a word, you might say, "Write three ways you think it might be spelled and get back to me."
For other blockages ask, "What have you tried already?"  "What other ideas do you have?"

When students have said to me, "I don't know."

My response was, "When you say that, your brain goes on vacation.  It is your obedient servant.  So if you say, 'I'm looking for the answer,'   your brain gets busy and comes up with an answer."

Because this was my consistent stance, it wasn't long before students replaced "I don't know" with:

" I'm looking for the answer."

" Let me see what I can figure out."

"I'm working on it."

4.  Do your child and you go over the homework together to:
  • reinforce it's importance?
  • encourage proofreading?  "Your math is perfect except for two problems in the last row.  Can you find the ones I am talking about?"
5.  Do you praise your children for their persistence and concentration when they have completed their homework?

6.  Do you reinforce the importance of effort because the brain is like a muscle?  Effort is the exercise that stimulates growth of the brain.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you.  I love hearing what worked, how you modified a suggestion to work better for your children, and any other ideas that have added to a Harmonious Homework Homefront.






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1 Comment

Reply Cathy
3:18 PM on September 29, 2015 
Great tips, Karen. I thought I'd share what I used to say to my kids when asking about their homework. When they came home from school, instead of saying, Do you have any homework? (which usually garnered a shrug or a "not much" answer), I'd ask, What homework do you have? I still got the shrug, but the 'What' question prompted them to be more specific.