KATY MAGAZINE I October 2018
By Katrina Katsarelis and Ariana Pezeshki
Simple Strategies and Advice from the Experts for Managing the Overload of Homework
If you and your child are feeling overwhelmed with what seems like never-ending assignments, you are not alone. Complaints from parents are all over social media wondering how much is too much for kids. Katy parents are finding it challenging to weave daily homework in with extracurricular activities, meals, and most importantly-- family time. Kids also need downtime in order to decompress and recharge for the next school day.
Here are some strategies to help manage it all and still keep family harmony.
Choose a Set Homework Time
Set aside a dedicated time each night to work on homework and try not to veer from it. “Children are more comfortable with routines and will get used to having the routine,” explains Doina Berea of College Nannies & Tutors. “For example, if a child knows that every day at 5:00 PM is homework time, there is less of a struggle for parents.” Parents can also set a timer to announce the start of homework time. When the bell goes off, the homework starts. Period. Allow a10-15 minute break every hour or so of working on a project to allow them time to decompress, and refresh.
Keep it Positive
Avoid yelling or rushing your child or he will associate homework time with negative emotions. When he does well, make sure and notice and say something. You can also showcase graded assignments on the fridge with a nice note to encourage more of the same. When your child completes the homework, reward him with a simple, age-appropriate like a happy sticker or a goofy song.
Get a Homework Mentor or Tutor
Sometimes children work better with strangers than parents on homework, which could lead to amusing parent teacher encounters when it comes to your homework helping techniques! “My Eldest had a problem with “Order of Operations”, Sheldon Dedek shared with us. “So I wrote, "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally" on his page, and when it applied, I would answer other questions with "see Aunt Sally". The next day, his teacher asked if Aunt Sally helped him. He responded, "No, Daddy did!" Enlisting the help of a tutor or homework mentor can take away from the after-school struggles of homework time. Hire a high school tutor to come by to go through your child’s homework with them and also teach them good time management skills.
Teach Organization skills
Go through your child’s backpack and teach him how to organize and sort his papers, flyers, and homework. Another strategy is to give him a whiteboard to write their assignments and items needed from you and the date it’s needed. “My child had a bad habit of letting me know at the last minute that he needs a poster or something for school,” says Ashley Lancaster. “Since I got him his own whiteboard he writes notes to me of what he needs and there's no more rushing to Walgreens at 10 PM."
Be Creative and Innovating
It isn’t hard to spot when your child is ready to quit on the homework and move onto something more stimulating. Mom, Robin Dilallo makes use of that pent up energy by incorporating physical activity. “Bouncing on the trampoline while reciting spelling words really helped them to stick in my daughter's head" she says. Mix your creativity and imagination in with your child's strengths. "Research shows that the brain retains information better while practicing with more than one of the 5 senses are combined.”
Don’t Rescue Them
If your child refuses to do the homework, don’t do it for them or race to the school in your Bat - mobile to drop off forgotten homework. Experts recommend letting the child feel the consequences of his actions. Allowing a child to get a zero on an assignment while they’re young will help them to learn these consequences before they get to junior high or high school.
Teach Organizations Skills
Step your child through organizing his backpack, paperwork, calendar and school items. Put completed homework in his backpack to prevent the morning scramble and possibly forgetting it. Teaching organization skills early will help you child thrive later on.
Set up a plan of action when it comes to huge workloads. If the kids need a 10-15 minute break every hour or so of working on a project, allow them the time to decompress, and refresh.
Did you know there are resources for Katy school age kids to receive free tutoring for any homework help, like the KatyISD Tutor List?
Make Time for Family
Set aside time to connect with your child at meals or other moments throughout the day. Make plans to enjoy some good old-fashioned family time on Katy ISD’s No Homework Nights. These nights are scheduled for November 14, January 13, February 14, March, 22, April 11, and May 3.
4 WAYS PARENTS CAN DO TO HELP
Here are some other ways parents can help their children be more successful in completing homework.
1. Show an Interest and Set a Good Example
Provide Supplies and Identify Resources
Set a Good Example
Be Interested and Interesting
2. Monitor Assignments
Ask about the School's Homework Policy
Look over Completed Assignments
Monitor Time Spend Viewing TV and Playing Video Game
3. Provide Guidance
Encourage Good Study Habits
Talk about the Assignments
Watch for Frustration
3. Communicate with Teachers
Tell teachers if you have concerns
Work with the teacher on a plan of action
Tips courtesy of Rebecca Baker with College Nannies & Tutors, Katy TX
HOMEWORK HELP & RESOURCES
Katy ISD Homework Tutor List
Provides a list of recommended tutors that you can hire to help a child who is struggling.
College Nannies & Tutors
Tutors can be on-call or scheduled to come to your and work directly with your child on the areas he is struggling with.
Local High Schools
Call your local high school if you would like to try a high school tutor if your child just needs a little boost or help with homework.
And finally remember KatyISD’s “no homework nights” in effort to encourage more family time listed on the 2017-2018 school year calendar. Your kid’s aren’t telling you a white lie! Manager of Media Relations and Multimedia Maria DiPetta said, “In every month of the calendar will include a designated family night, on those days, teachers will not assign homework to students. This practice ensures the district giving our hard working students a break from the academic demands that they have every day.”
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