to School Homework Tips
By Monica A. Consalvo
lazy days of summer are ending and the school buses are set to roll
in. It is time to set the alarms, gather our supplies and get ready
to embark on an exciting new school year.
The first few weeks of school can be overwhelming and your child
will need time to adjust to their new schedule and new routine.
· Be supportive of your child and listen to what she/he has
· Provide a quiet place for homework.
· Choose a time for homework
CHOICE: It is essential that we provide choice for children. Allow
them to decide when they would like to work on their homework. However
the choice is not all theirs. Make the choices one you can live
with. For example, "You can do your homework directly after
school, after a brief 30 minute snack break or after some outside
or computer time (45 minutes to 1 hour).
In my opinion, it is best to get homework done BEFORE dinnertime.
This reduces last minute chaos and makes evening time an opportunity
to gather as a family and do something fun. Once your child has
decided on their time, put it directly onto the calendar and stick
to it. That means no errands during this time, no excuses. This
will be a "blessing in disguise," trust me!
· If your child states that there is no homework, have your
child read during the homework time. Typically a middle school student
has about 1-2 hours of homework a night (this may differ and increase
as your child gets older) Students should spend 5-10 minutes each
night reviewing concepts learned in class. This will prepare students
for the next day's lesson.
· Be sure your child is equipped with the appropriate supplies.
Have a designated spot in the house where extra supplies are kept.
Some trusty old favorites to have on hand can include:
markers and colored pencils/ruler/compass/calculator/scissors
Computer paper, lined paper, 2 pocket color folders
(Colors help, assign each subject it's own color)
Oak tag/index cards/ post its (great for marking up texts or novels
which student's cannot write in)
him/her use an assignment notebook so she/he knows what homework
is required each day. I like to call this their "life",
that they can keep track of their assignments and upcoming tests.
This is a skill that they will carry over to their adult lives as
your child is struggling with homework please make the teacher aware.
Children should typically not spend more than 20-30 minutes on a
given assignment. If the child is working longer make a note of
it and have your child seek out the teacher the next day during
extra help, before class or during review time. Providing your child
with the answers and having them turn in a "perfect" paper
will not help your child in the long run.
out teacher websites too! Most teachers have them and they can provide
what long range projects children will be working on, some even
post daily homework, and some allow for downloads of recent handouts
Remember to pack up all supplies, books and assignments the night
before. Make sure all notices are signed and put into the backpack
as well. Place the backpack by the door, ready for your child to
take in the morning. No more phone calls for forgotten items in
the morning. J
As a last note, remember that consistency, structure and organization
are essential for success. Being prepared makes your child feel
less overwhelmed and will make their school experience positive.
Monica A. Consalvo is a middle school special educator for the Port
Jefferson School District in New York. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org