Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Six Week Check

We are about 6 weeks into the school year and it is time to ask, “How are we doing?” Homework trapped children typically do well for the first three or so weeks of the year because, counter to common misperceptions, they are motivated to do well. It is a matter of what they can do more than what they want to do. By six weeks, it is likely that, if your child is homework trapped, the notes are coming home and you are engaged in a process of trying to get your child to catch up for where he or she has fallen behind. If so, this is the time to take action, and by that I mean to orient yourself to the psychological factors that cause common parent-teacher strategies to make matters worse, and consider alternatives to homework demands.

Here are some common characteristics you may find in your child if he or she is homework trapped:
       My child won't complete his homework.
       My child will endure almost any punishment rather than complete his homework.
       Even when my child tries to do his homework, very little actually gets done.
       My child refuses my help with homework assignments.
       Homework assignments rarely make it from school to home.
       Homework that is done rarely makes it from home to school.
       Even if the homework gets to school, it's rarely handed in.
       Other than homework, my child does fairly well at school.
       When my child first started, he was eager and truly enjoyed school.
       My child spends more than 10 min per grade per night on HW.
       My child has very poor handwriting.

Here are some common characteristics you may find in yourself if you are homework trapped.

       I think about my child's homework much of the time.
       I talk about homework many times each night.
       I shudder at the thought of asking my child if he has homework or if his homework has been done.
       I speak with the teachers more than I want, and I never feel good when those meetings are done.
       I've joined my child's teachers in constructing plans that never work to solve the homework problem.
       Homework seems the most important issue in my child's life.
       I've lost authority over my child in other areas that matter to me.

If this applies, here’s your homework:
Read The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers and Students right away, and open a dialogue with your child’s teachers based on these principles.

Visit The Homework Trap website

Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers, and Students, published by Wyndmoor Press.

Wyndmoor Press now offers bulk rate discounts to parent, school, and community groups. We recommend Amazon for single copy purchases.

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