By Sofia Robirosa
Can you believe the summer is almost over?
And, kids are going back to school, and the dreaded topic of homework comes up to mind.
Does your child give you a hard time when it comes to homework?
Have you tried everything?
Repeating, nagging, yelling, and nothing has worked?
Are ready to start the school year the right way?
Here are 10 tips of things you can do as a parent to help your child start the school year the right way:
About a week before schools starts, create a weekly schedule with your children.
Having a schedule helps your children understand the structure they need to follow, making it a point of reference when needed.
Include responsibilities, as well as times for fun and down time. Work with your child to understand when it’s the best time to get homework done. Some children like coming home and tackling homework first thing, others prefer relaxing for some time to then complete them. Others like doing homework for 20-30 minutes and taking short breaks in between.
Allowing your child to have a choice can help with power struggles, as for example, in the event your child chooses to have a break before homework time and does not want to get it done, as a parent you can say: “It was your choice to relax before homework time, should we change it to getting homework done first thing? Also, place the schedule in a visible place for easy reference for the children.
For the first days of school, go over the schedule every day in the morning and after school.
This helps the child know what to expect. Ask your child to look at the schedule that was created in tip #1.
Learn the names of your child’s teachers.
Becoming familiar with your child’s teachers can help increase your child’s performance. Why? Because your child will know you are close to his teachers and you will be regularly communicating with “the source.” Working as a team with your child’s school is a great way to have a clear picture of your child’s performance and behavior, and when needing to motivate your child, you will have more resources to use to help you.
Find out what’s the most appropriate way to keep in contact with your child’s teachers. Some teachers prefer emails, others phone calls, and some need the old fashioned notes.
Check on your child’s grades regularly. Nowadays, most schools have online portals where teachers post grades regularly. This way you will be able to act faster if your child is not doing their homework or it they need some extra help on a specific subject.
Communicate with your child and his teachers to find out if there is one specific subject that is discouraging your child from completing homework assignments.
Children can get discouraged from having difficulties in one class and then projecting it onto all classes.
Check if homework was done and if it was done well.
A quick check can help reduce long term headaches, such as finding out that your child is flunking a class weeks into the semester.
Figure out a way to help your child with homework rather than doing it for them.
A good strategy is to do something else while your child is completing the assignment, and only come around to check it when it’s completed.
Be open to getting outside help.
If your child is struggling with school, getting tutoring might make a great difference. There are private tutors, learning centers, as well as free tutoring at public libraries available.
If all this fails, considering evaluating your child for a learning disability might be useful.
With specialized help, your child can thrive and you will get the resources that you need as a parent as well.
To Your Child’s Successful School Year,
Sofia Robirosa, MBA, LMFT, CAP.