Parents have asked us why homework takes their child 2, 3 and even 4 times longer than their peers and what they can do about it.
This article defines the 3 key issues and what parents can do about it.
Student’s key issues often include:
- Attention is a major problem, both in class and while doing homework
- They often have one or more vision issues – too often these student’s eyes are either: not working together; skipping words or lines when reading; or they have difficulty copying off the board
- They become tense when doing homework and often lose it
When a student has trouble paying attention in class, they often must be re-taught the information at home.
What makes matters worse is that the students homework time which should have taken 45 minutes gets stretched to 1 and ½ hours due to re-teaching, and then to over 2 hours because they cannot stay focused.
Vision issues impact their homework in several ways:
- They have trouble copying the notes off the board correctly and you spend time trying to understand the assignment
- They skip words or lines when reading, further complicating life
- When they do math problems they do not often align their work correctly, they miss minus and division signs so they make careless errors
Students often get tense when doing homework and battles often follow.
What often happens is:
- Students are too intimidated to ask questions in class and they simply get stuck
- The student or parent gets angry and then …
- An argument starts which often escalates into a battle royale
What we recommend is that parents:
- Stay clam when doing homework with your child
- If your child gets stressed, give them a 1 or 3 minute break
- Hydrate them before doing homework and while doing homework
- When reading, use an index card or their finger to keep them on the right line
- If the attention is a significant issue, consider getting an ADHD diagnosis
- if they have a learning disability or attention issues significantly impact their academic performance, the student could qualify for an Individualized
Education Plan and they could get accommodations for homework which might include:
- Getting copies of notes – either provided by the teacher or by another student
- Seating by the teacher to improve attention
- Having the teacher check to make sure the student has written the assignment correctly
- Having you sign that they completed the assignment and putting it in a place they can find it
- An early warning system, where the teacher alerts you to issues early on
- If vision is a major issue see an optometrist – even if your child has 20/20 vision.
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The simple question, ‘Have you done your homework?’
can lead to tears, tantrums and tirades.
But homework time doesn’t have to turn your home into a battlefield.
Here’s excellent advice from family and lifestyle correspondent Ylonda Caviness.