Good Read: The Homework Trap and What To Do About It

| April 18, 2012 | 3 Comments
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Excellent strategies for parents about how to help kids negotiate homework time: Create a fixed time period, reduce penalties for being late or incomplete, respect teachers’ authority.   “It is critical for teachers to understand that homework assignments are using borrowed ground. Homework requires the tacit permission of the parents to allow it in their homes. While most parents will support the school in what it asks, they also need the power to withdraw that permission, if needed, without consequence to their child’s education,” the author writes.

There are many parents whose major concern is not public policy but what will happen at home tonight. They are not Tiger Moms, but ordinary parents who simply want the best for their children. These parents start out with the full intention of supporting the teachers and their children’s schools. Yet, something goes wrong along the way as they and their children fall into a homework trap.

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  • jjay.summers

    I just don’t want to give homework period.

  • Gelinasfive

    I have felt this way alot of time however the teachers do not care and even send home class work on to of homework and if it is not done the children get study hall after school… So horrible. So much for whole child learning…I feel in a catch 22I make my kids do all the homework even if it late host then feel guilty. I have had my children lie and I feel bad they feel like they have to lie. I have had my children talk to their teachers however not much had been done…what can we do the school wants good test scores so we must march. Some times I wish I could home school. And my children go to a charter school where we at one pint had some wiggle room. That time has past now the solder I mean children must march pull up the boot straps

  • Kelle

    I’m a bit ambivalent about the idea of time-bound homework. I understand the author’s reasoning, but I also remember that as a student with learning disabilities, it sometimes took me a little longer to figure things out. Time-bound homework by itself may mean that students like me have to stop just as they’re finally getting it or they end up pressuring themselves to “beat the clock” because not being able to finish within the set time makes them feel like a failure.

    Maybe a combination of time-bound homework and tutoring assistance would be better. One of my math teachers who liked to assign a ton of homework would hold “extra lessons” after school where he could work one-on-one with kids who needed help with his assignments. I also got help from a semi-retired math teacher who held Saturday group tutoring sessions. We’d bring our homework to the session, she’d explain concepts that had stumped us, and we’d work under her supervision. Both tutoring sessions were time-bound but having help right there kept me from feeling lost or frustrated.

    I know some libraries have homework help services and that some teachers are available online via sites like Edmodo. I really think a combo of help and time limits is better than time limits alone.