A few days ago we were talking about back-to-school in our blog. Today we are going to talk about homework. Yep, that dreaded time of day for all parents and students that can often lead to tears and stress for both. There is a better way though and Do2Learn has some tips to get you through it.
All students, special needs or not, are reluctant to do homework. For those students who do have special needs these issues can be magnified. These reasons include:
- Fatigue at the end of a long school day
- Frustration caused by not understanding the assignment
- Forgetting the materials needed to complete the assignment
- Assignments that are too difficult
- Competing interests such as video games and computers
- Over-schedule with after school activities
- Emotional and behavioral issues
First and foremost, please parents and caregivers, communicate any homework difficulties that your child is having at home with the teacher! If homework is becoming a struggle that could be many issues that could be impacting the situation and together you and the teacher/s can work together to analyze and make suggestions accordingly.
Here is a list of other suggestions that can assist in helping make homework time go smoother.
- Keep a class list that the student can call if they forget their homework. Have the student exchange contact information with a peer so they can call if they need help or information about homework assignments or classroom events. For those with social issues that would complicate this (autism) perhaps having it written into the IEP to have the teacher write the homework assignment for the student or check that the student wrote it correctly.
- Keep materials such as paper, sharpened pencils, calculators, rulers, and other tools in an accessible location. This will help with organization. For students with an IEP, requesting an extra set of books for home will eliminate forgetting to bring books home or taking them back to school.
- Establish a homework time to help the student develop efficient study habits.
- Set boundaries with the child about the amount of help they receive. Sometimes children will rely on adult assistance to complete tasks that they can do independently. Allocate a certain number of problems that the child must do before checking in with an adult.
- If the student needs breaks – use sand timers or analogue clocks to help monitor the work time. (click link for more info)
- Have the student take a quick active break before starting again, such as 10 baskets or riding their bike around the block twice.
- Before going to bed, have the student pack their book bag and set it in an obvious location so they will not forget it the next day.