Do you have daily battles around homework in your household? It’s not uncommon. Overcoming homework struggles can help kids learn organizational, problem-solving, and focusing skills that will help them succeed both in school and later in life, on the job and in the community.
Experts have suggested a few proven strategies:
- Set a routine early. Some families allow for a little relaxation immediately after school, while others prefer to start homework right away. Whatever you do, make it a regular part of your child’s day, so your child knows what to expect.
- Create a special spot in the house where your child can do his or her homework. Sometimes the Dining Room table is all you need. Make sure it's a quiet place and distraction free. Have reference materials and school supplies close at hand.
- Be clear on teacher expectations. Check your child’s homework log to find out what is expected, and check with the teacher when you’re unclear on something.
- Teach your child to plan ahead. You could show your son or daughter how to list each homework assignment in priority order, most important first.
- Choose a privilege that the child will be able to earn for finishing their homework nightly. Choose a consequence if homework isn’t completed.
- Only help when it’s really needed. Most of us parents realize that our kids won’t learn if we do the work for them. When you notice your son or daughter is really struggling, though, being nearby to see the confusion makes it easier to step in and show how to solve a similar problem, or how to break a really tough assignment into smaller, more manageable chunks.
Bullying is a fact of life in schools across America, whether expressed as physical or verbal aggression. Any veteran parent or teacher can tell you that bullying is starting at a younger age--as early as first grade.
The consequences of bullying go beyond hurt feelings. Kids who are bullied may begin performing poorly in school, begging to stay home for the day, and withdrawing from other social activities. Listed below are a few helpful resources to guide you through what can seem like a daily battleground.
Role-play some appropriate responses with your child. Send him or her to school equipped with a little toolkit of strong responses (like, "Stop!"). Teach your child to report incidents to playground supervisors, teachers, and other safe adults.
Keep a log of incidents reported by your child, and then keep your child's teacher informed. The more you can express your concerns, control your emotions and enter into a partnership with your child's teacher, the better. Dahlia school administrators and teachers are committed to preventing the emotional damage that can occur from bullying.
Read books by experts. Here are a few excellent books for parents:
- Easing the Teasing: Helping Your Child Deal with Name-Calling, Ridicule, and Verbal Bullying, by Judy S. Freedman
- The Complete Guide to Understanding, Controlling, and Stopping Bullies and Bullying: A Complete Guide for Teachers and Parents, by Margaret R. Kohut
- Bullyproof Your Child for Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting, and Bullying for Good, by Joel Haber and Jenna Glatzer
Give your child a book aimed at his or her age group. Consider one or more of these:
- Bullies are a Pain in the Brain (Laugh and Learn), by Trevor Romaine
- My Secret Bully, by Trudy Ludwig and Abigail Marble
- Stick Up for Yourself: Every Kid’s Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self-Esteem, by Gershen Kaufman, Lev Raphael, and Pamela Espeland
- Simon’s Hook: A Story About Teases and Put-Downs, by Karen Gedig Burnett and Laurie Barrows.
- Place shoes, jackets and backpacks in the same place every day. Putting things in their proper places each night.
- Parents, look over all homework before bed to make sure it's complete.
- Kids, pack up your backpacks after doing homework each night, so they are ready to go in the morning.
- Plan what you're wearing the night before and lay out your clothes.
- Discuss tomorrow’s activities (field trips, class parties,etc.) at dinner, so there are no surprises.
- Showers and baths should be taken at night. A warm bath or shower is relaxing.
- Make lunches the night before.
- Get to bed on time.