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Help Parents Deal with Homework

The strategies outlined in this article will help parents work successfully with their children to finish homework. Discuss these methods with parents at teacher-parent conferences or on the phone.
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Excerpted from A Survival Kit for the Special Education Teacher

Every night in millions of homes across the country you can imagine the scenario: the age-old story of children and their homework. The scene may have different characters, but the script is usually the same. Parents have always attempted to help their children with homework. This help ranges from a short occasional explanation to total completion of the task by the parent. Whatever the case, numerous problems exist. In an attempt to cope, parents will use trial and error, bribery, threats, reasoning, and anything they hope will work.

There seems to be little doubt that the motives of the parents are genuine. Who could find fault with the motive of concern? However, it is not the motive that creates the anxiety and tension for both parents and children, but the techniques employed.

For some children, school can be a stressful place. When one takes into account work demands, social pressures, concern over parental approval, fear of failure, and so much more, children may need the home as a haven to unwind. If they encounter stress in the form of parental agitation during homework, then where can they "hang their hat?" For those of us who work, it might be comparable to working all day at a job that has its share of stresses and coming home to a tense environment. Think of how long you might be able to handle such a situation. Also keep in mind the alternatives that we have as adults if the pressure gets to be too great. Children do not have the same options.

The following techniques are provided to facilitate the process of homework and prevent frustration, anger, and disappointment:

Homework Schedule
Rank the Assignments
Don't Hover

Check Correct Problems First
Never Let Homework Drag On All Night
Success Strategies for Textbook Assignments
Be Aware of Negative Messages
Avoid Finishing Assignments for Your Child