Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Examples of success with The Homework Trap

I have two examples of success using the model of The Homework Trap. I recently shared an interaction between a parent and me over her child's homework problems. She has since been sending me periodic updates. She set time limits on homework. Although the school frowned at the idea, they accepted it. Her child proved more cooperative doing his homework. She took the role of observer rather than enforcer and, as often happens, highlighted handwriting problems as the culprit. She has since explored the problem and, in her most recent communication with me, indicates that she is proceeding with occupational therapy to help her child out.

Two days ago, I had a conversation with another parent whose child had been homework trapped. She took the same position of limiting her child's homework time. She went on to making sure that the school had ample supplies of the book, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers. This created a buzz in her child's school district about homework policy. As expected, teachers responded in different ways and many did not directly agree. Yet, the attitude changed and they stopped punishing her child for work that was not done. He is now an honor roll student despite the fact that he fails to do some of his homework. The key is that teachers may grumble and may hold onto their past beliefs, but no one works in a vacuum, and, to some degree, everyone has to bend. The teachers may be used to bending to what their superiors (e.g. the principal) say yet remain resistant to bending to parent demands. But if parent's demands are reasonable and made in authoritative ways, many will bend.

I have no doubt that, for both of these parents, the story has not come to an end. Their children will advance one grade at a time, and face new teachers, with new systems, and different attitudes. They may have to refight these battles. But that are winnable battles, and logic and reason are the tools they have on their side.

I welcome all feedback, through public posts on this blog or The Homework Trap Facebook page, or through private communications to me, that can be made through The Homework Trap website and can be conveyed to others in anonymous ways. And I am open to feedback of situations in which my model has not worked. From what I hear, time boundaries is proving to be one of the most powerful and effective steps a parent can take.

For more information on Dr. Goldberg's model, read other postings on this blog, visit his website, The Homework Trap, or read his book, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers. 


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