One of the most common problems that parents face with their children is getting them to do their homework. This is especially true for kids who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADHD, truancy, etc. The following handout includes tips and materials to help your child during homework time.
§ Create a homework folder where the child can keep a log of homework assignments and various homework worksheets, etc. The teacher can also initial the log if the child is not honest regarding the assignments.
§ Keep in contact with teachers to make sure that homework is being completed satisfactorily. Use e-mail.
§ Schedule a time to spend on homework. However, homework should continue to be monitored daily.
§ Utilize study hall time, time after school, or Saturdays to make up homework. Kids should always be held accountable for every assignment even if it is too late to gain credit for it. If not, the child is rewarded for not doing their homework.
§ Considering giving rewards for doing homework. This can be done in a number of ways. For example, giving the child a sticker when they finish a task.
§ Reward doing homework satisfactorily from a "reward menu." This reward could be anything, such as video game time, snacks, or even a few minutes of your time. Make sure that you really know what the child values, however, or this does not work.
§ Make certain that assignments and daily homework organizers are neat, clear, and easy to understand.
§ Have another child in the home, which the target child admires, respects, or likes; serve as a model for reinforcement.
§ Have the child keep a chart or graph of the number of homework assignments completed.
§ Establish homework assignment rules:
1. Initiate task
2. Stay on task
3. Meet task expectations
4. Turn in task.
5. Reiterate the rules often and refrain from giving more attention to the child than necessary.
§ Create a task analysis sheet for large homework assignments. This is an organization tool where the child can write down the subject, question numbers assigned (or assignment description), when it is due, book and page numbers, and any previous steps involved before actually doing the work (for example, looking up something in the library)
§ Provide an appropriate atmosphere for doing homework. The area should be well-lit, quiet, and free from distraction. If the child is normally inattentive, be sure that the surroundings are a minimal distraction.
§ And finally, it is helpful to link the child's homework assignment to other areas of interest, whether it is in the home or in the real world. For example, watching historical movies can help encourage a conversation about history and the importance of studying history in the classroom.