Sunday, October 7, 2012

Implementing the Homework Trap -- Part 3

Today's blog post addresses ways to implement the homework trap, which involve participation by the school. As noted before, you can set time limits on homework and revise the ways in which you interact with your child, with or without any changes in the school. This will reduce tensions and increase the amount of work that actually gets done. Still, you would like to see change on the school's part, largely in reducing or eliminating penalties for work that is not done. The three primary strategies to accomplish this are:

1. Sharing your time-bound decision with the teachers and consistently referring back to that decision in every future discussion about homework.
2. Incorporating the time bound concept in a 504 plan.
3. Educating the teachers about the homework trap by giving them copies of the book (for everyone's information, I routinely discourage parents from bringing their children to me for psychotherapy, highlighing that it is cheaper and more effective to give their children's teachers and principals copies of the book than to schedule sessions with me).

I discuss these options in the following video clip. Following the clip, I am reproducing a letter I received in reference the young person I refer to in the clip, who was at risk of failing high school, but ended up graduating after receiving homework relief.

Letter reprinted with permission:

"I have great satisfaction in Dr. Goldberg's, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers. During the past school year, a high school senior in our family was not only at risk of not graduating because of issues relating to homework, but also lacked enthusiasm for school in general. He consistently was penalized to the fullest and his grades as a result, reflected failure.

"When I learned that this book's plan incorporated looking into the child as an individual and that the parent could have a positive role in improvement by having some authority regarding homework, I thought to share copies of the book with his teachers, who then worked with him so that he could accomplish what was reasonable for him in the realm of homework and move forward with better grades.

"His place of education then became viewed by him as it should have been - a school, not a factory of negatives in his mind. Not all students are the same and we are thankful for this book's ideas that brought out the brightness in him."

Name withheld with respect for anonymity.

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.

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