Taking the “Work” Out of Homework
Originally Posted by: Jeff Jackson on Families of Multiples
I once said that the word “Tantrum” was one that struck fear into the hearts of parents. It’s a seven letter word that those of us with multiples is all too familiar with.
Once you get beyond the toddler stage, I’ve found an eight letter word that rivals it.
Of course, there is the remote possibility that your children love to do homework, and will actually do it on their own without any parental input, feedback or coaching. If this is the case, the rest of this article isn’t for you. Just kindly move along and read about ways to make slime with your perfect little angels.
But, for the remaining 99.99% of us who have children who AVOID homework worse than the plague, vegetables, or room cleaning, this article is for YOU.
I have twin sons, aged 9 1/2 who have almost as much fear of the word Homework as I do, only for exact opposite reasons. They hate doing it (and I hate getting them to do it).
I hate holding them down until it’s completed and then putting it into their backpacks. Ok, that’s a joke. I actually enjoy when they put it into their backpacks.
My children are twins, but as different as night and day.
Archie has a learning disability. If you met him you’d think he was a really cute kid with A LOT of imagination. You’d be right. But, he does have trouble with his reading skills and learning and remembering words. It’s a challenge for him. This also means that it’s also a challenge for my wife and I. Taking care of my children is always a top priority. Nothing is more important. Coaxing him to sit down to do his homework? Every. Single. Night? Well, that becomes more and more difficult as the school-year progresses.
Fortunately, Archie has matured and has been more enthused and disciplined this year to do his homework. Sometimes. Other times, it is still a battle. He has progressed through much work and dedication from his teachers, his parents, and himself.
Morty is reading above his grade level. He loves to read! If allowed to do anything he wants, he’ll read. That’s pretty cool. What is not cool is that Morty hates school and homework. Why? Not because he lacks the ability. But rather because he thinks they’re boring. The challenge with him isn’t just to get him to do his “boing” homework, but to get him to take the extra time to do it right and neatly. Morty also hates writing. This naturally means that his writing technique suffers (which means everybody who reads it suffers, too). Morty has no enthusiasm for school. This carries over to his homework.
Two different children, but with their own issues. The eight letter word, being the biggest of them.
No matter which side of the coin your twins fall on, we’ve found some ways to here are some ways to help neutralize “The Homework Dilemma”.
These are not in any particular order, and as they say, results may vary. Good luck!
- Structure. Children need structure. They need schedules. They need boundaries. Let your kids know that homework is expected to be worked on at a specified time, like before dinner, after dinner, when they get home, whatever. It’s also important to establish a location that’s designated a place for homework that has minimal distractions.
- Responsibility. Ultimately, it’s your child’s responsibility to do their homework. Parents can help, motivate, monitor and set good examples. But, it is important for the kids to learn that their success or failure is truly the result of their own efforts. Mom and Dad can’t save them and shouldn’t save them or do their homework.
- Communication. Keep the teacher(s) informed of how well your children are doing with their homework assignments. Maybe he or she will have some additional ideas or resources to utilize.
- Praise and reward. Money is really not recommended to solve the homework dilemma. I mean, I’ll take it, but it won’t help your kids. The best reward is praising honest efforts. It goes a long way, and it just might help the parent-child bond, too.
The fact that your children were born on the same day means little when it comes to the ability to learn and retain information. Remembering that your children are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses will help you ensure that someone doesn’t fall through the educational systems cracks.
Homework isn’t fun, but it provides much more than the knowledge they gain to obtain a passing grade. It teaches independence and self motivation. It also teaches them about choices and rewards. The upside is, that when they have the whole homework thing down, you get to help them make slime.
Do your kids like or loath homework? Tell us your tricks to ending "The Homework Dilemma” in the comments!
About the author:
Jeff Jackson is currently a staff writer for the site
FamiliesofMultiples.com. Families of Multiples is a parenting resource
helping Moms and Dads of Twins, Triplets, Quads, or more overcome the
hurdles of raising multiple children of the same age.
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