Is homework hurting your family?

Today, I was talking with my sister on the phone. She was rushing home from work to help her son in 10th grade with his chemistry project. I felt her pain. Last weekend, I spent all of Sunday helping my daughter build a 3D model of an emergency room for her Spanish class (Tell me why this was necessary!) No matter how old your child gets, in some way, their homework becomes your homework, too.

I don’t know about you, but I find the volume of homework and tests that fill our children’s docket thse days is ridiculous. At some point, our nation’s schools decided if you don’t have the budget or curriculum to teach kids, just pile on more homework.

The result is that our kids lives are a stress-laden stream of homework and school projects.  By high school, any college bound teen is consumed with a level of homework and anxiety that is well beyond healthy.

With all this homework, I’m finding teens still need help getting organized. A family education site I stumbled across says even a bright, well-organized student may have trouble pacing herself for long-range assignments and juggling the work of six or seven classes every night. So true!

As a parent, you want your teen to get homework done without having to impose rules; but sometimes, they need guidance.  You might want to talk about when it makes the most sense to do homework — after soccer practice? before dinner?

Some suggestions:

  • Help your teen to break a long-term assignment into parts. Sit down with her and help her break down the steps that might be involved in writing her year-end term report on China.  Starting with the project’s due date, show your teen how to calculate how much time she can devote to each stage. Mark a due date by each step.
  •  A good time management trick that can take your teen a long way is teaching her to do the hardest assignment first. After she’s finished with that, it makes the rest of the night look easy.
  • If proscrastination is a problem, (it is at my house!) you might need to set guidelines; for example, homework should come before television or Video chatting.

Do you feel like your teen has too much homework? Do you, like me, feel their homework becomes yours sometimes?

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