More Homework Help for parents

  • Q: I get home from work just in time to fix dinner. My daughter has gymnastics after school and eats dinner as soon as she gets home. Both of us are exhaunsted afterward. How can we possibly fit homework in?
    A: Your case is an exception to our “do-the-hardest-homework-first” rule. You may want to try letting your daughter do her easiest homework in the evening, before bedtime. Then, depending on how much homework she has, have her get up half an hour earlier in the morning, dress and eat breakfast, and complete the more difficult work before leaving for school.
  • Q: My son does his homework as long as there isn’t anything interesting on TV. If there is, I have to nag him to do it.
    A: What’s wrong with exercising some parental control? Decide on a specific number of hours per day (preferably one at the most) during which your son is allowed to watch television. Have him tell you which programs he wants to watch, and either give your approval or suggest something else. And make it a rule that in order to watch his programs, he must finish his homework first. He’ll probably scream and yell and argue, but stand firm; once he learns that you mean business, he’ll settle down – and buckle down.
  • Q: My son has a habit of springing big projects on us. We find out at the last minute that he has a report or project to do. Then, we all have to scramble to help him out of a hole at the eleventh hour.
    A: Post a calendar in your son’s room or study area. Work with him to identify holidays, special events, and times for extracurricular activities. Then add in due dates for big projects. Show your son how to do “backward planning” and work on small tasks toward a larger goal or final product.
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