“I have a note for you from my teacher” are not the words a parent usually likes to hear from their child. Or perhaps you get an email asking you to stop by the school. Before your radar sets off, take a deep breath. Sometimes teachers contact parents if their child has done really well. Other times the call comes because there is a problem. It’s important to remember your child’s teacher will have information about what aspects of her work are creating a problem. The teacher can tell you if your child is not paying attention, not participating in class, or not completing homework.
It’s also a good idea for you to initiate a conversation with teachers early in the school year about expectations. Find out how often homework will be given, when it is due, and how you will find out your child’s progress. Some teachers have a system they follow for assigning homework – assignment notebooks, folders, sign-off sheets. Discover what the teachers want and then do your part to be supportive.
I hear parents talking about how much homework their children have and if it’s a reasonable amount. That’s a good question and can vary depending upon school systems, teachers, and children’s ages. Harris Cooper, Director of Duke’s Program in Education says research is consistent with the “10-minute” rule” suggesting the optimum amount of homework a teacher should assign. Before anyone gets too excited, let me explain. It is a commonly accepted practice in which teachers add 10 minutes of homework as students progress one grade. For example, a first grader would have 10 minutes of homework while that 6th grader could handle 60 minutes.
What do you think about the 10 minute rule? Have you had a conversation with your child’s teachers about homework expectations this school year?
Ok, maybe your kids haven’t used that excuse, but homework has a way of getting lost. Misplaced homework is often the result of not having an organized study space for kids. My guess is that you purchased school supplies and some new clothes for back-to-school. But did you help your child create an inviting spot to study?
I remember doing my homework at the kitchen table and any reading in my bedroom. That seemed to meet my needs for concentration. Students have different needs. Some are easily distracted. Others don’t seem to be bothered by noise or activity. Talk with your child about his preferences. Add in what you know about him and then together set up the study area.
Kids need a desk or table with a comfortable chair. It’s important to have enough space for a computer, books, papers, and any other materials being used. Be sure there is good lighting and some type of storage. Perhaps you can designate a book shelf, filing cabinet, specific drawers, or even plastic containers. Then add the necessary school supplies – pencils, pens, markers, tape, glue, rulers, etc. – so everything your student needs is in one place.
If this is a “dedicated” study space, think about adding color with wall paint, pictures, or posters. The idea is to make this an inviting place.
Would you want to go to work every day and not have a place to do your work? I’m guessing the answer is no. What ideas do you have for creating a study spot for your child?
The first Science of Parenting webinar aired Monday night. We enjoyed interacting with parents, grandparents, and others about Helping Your Child Succeed in School.
We recorded the webinar and it is now available for you to watch at your convenience. Just go to the top of this page and click on the “webinars” button on the left side.
At the end of the webinar we asked participants to share ideas for topics they would like to see addressed in future podcasts, blogs, and webinars. Your ideas are always welcome. Just send them via a blog entry.
homework, school, webinar
Join us for our live Webinar conversation on helping children succeed in school!
Monday, September 10th, 8-9pm CST. Now view the archived session
education, family time, homework, positive parenting
This month we are focusing on how to get the school year started right!
The short podcast gives a few ideas on homework and we are having an evening webinar on Monday the 10th of September to add more ideas to create success! Listen to the podcast and join us on the 10th!
Lori and Donna
Podcast: Play in new window
education, homework, podcast, positive parenting, raising teens, social-emotional