HOMEWORK. It drives kids and
parents crazy. One could also argue if it is even worthwhile in
improving your child’s overall learning. But most schools will give
homework so we are stuck with it.
Some kids just don’t want to do it
and if asked whether or not they have homework, they will say NO and get
a zero or low grade. So the question is “does the parent find out what
homework the child has and make them do it?” Some would say let them
fail and that will show them they need to do it. I do not believe
that. You do not teach them to keep clean and have good hygiene by
letting them go dirty and not bathe. You make them bathe and that
becomes a habit for life. So I feel the parent should find out if the
child has homework and make sure they do it. Then that teaches them if
they have things in life that they need to do…. Then get it done.
I do not think the parent should go
over their homework and correct mistakes. (I think I was guilty of that
when young). Then that is the parent’s A and not the child’s B or C.
The parent does not go into their class and correct their test papers to
artificially increase their grade. So I feel the parent should not
correct the homework but just make sure it was done and completed. If
however the child missed almost all the homework, then the child may not
understand how to do the homework. Then the parent can “reteach” the
lesson and show them how to do it. Or the parent can make up extra
papers for them to complete in order to make sure the child understands
the lesson (Oh boy does that upset them…! Do it right the first time or
you get more work. Yeow!) Teach your child ways to memorize things… by
making flash cards, lists, repeating over and over, etc. And also the
parent should encourage them to do their best and not just a minimal
effort so it is enough to get a barely passing grade.
Have a home atmosphere where they
can do their homework with minimal distractions. Yes turn the TV, cell
phones, and ipads OFF! Record your programs for later. I’m sure you
parents have stuff you need to work on or need to read.
I thought I was a tough Dad but I
had one parent who turned off the sound of the TV and turned on closed
captions. Everyone’s reading improved. You also might have a house
rule that so many minutes of reading earns you so many minutes of TV or
screen time. Have them get a good night’s sleep to help their school
performance. Have a bed time even though teens are not that sleepy.
And their cell phones go in a charger in the parent’s bedroom…. yes they
have been found at 2AM under their covers texting. Keeping the total
screen time down helps. Most authorities recommend 2 hours a day when
most kids are having 6 or more hours a day of screen time. That should
vary with the child and their performance in school and the type of
I know some of you will disagree
with my views and that is OK. We all raise our children differently.
It is just my opinion. Thanks for listening.
Roger Knapp MD