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Homework Coach or Enforcer?

Homework Coach or Enforcer?

Is homework a battle in your home? If you find that it has become a nightly battle or that your child or teen has lost interest in school; then it may be time to try a different approach. I will admit I sympathize with teens trying to become independent when often the adults around them are inadvertently taking away their sense of control. If you find that you are constantly asking them if their homework is done or suggesting ways for them to get it done then here are five tips to take you from homework enforcer to homework coach. Remember the role of a good coach is to encourage problem solving skills, develop independence and provide support when needed. The first and most important step is to realize whether or not you are enabling your child/teen to feel helpless. If you are constantly reminding them to do their homework, get ready for school, pack their backpack, or go to bed why would they need to remember? The same thing applies if you are solving their problems for them or designing their notebook your way. All of these things take the pressure off of your teen and puts it on you. You’ll need to work together to figure out how much your teen can do independently and what he or she might need a little support for. I know it is often easier to keep track of it yourself, but teaching your teen to problem solve, keep track of assignments and get their work done independently are all skills they need to develop for a successful life. Ask questions...

The Past Does Not Equal The Future

I am not sure who said “the past does not equal the future” (maybe Tony Robbins) but I think it is an important reminder as we start the new school year.  Just because “x, y and z” happened last year, does not mean it will happen again this year. Each new school year is a chance to start over…a bit like new years. It does have some of the same problems though….we start off fresh and then fall back into our old habits just like those resolutions that last a day or a week. This year, why not focus on the positive. Acknowledge your child every day they sit down and get to their homework on their own. Rather than “that’s great!” try something that shows how responsible they are being or mentions the new habits they are developing that can lead to improved grades. This encourages them to put the specifics together with their feelings about what you said. This ignites a little intrinsic motivation fire that hopefully they will want to continue to fuel. When kids feel good about themselves and what they can do…there is no stopping them. Staying with the theme of the positive this year, ask “what” questions rather than “why” questions. Can you hear the difference between: “What homework will you work on next?” And “Why isn’t your math done yet?” It’s all a matter of how you phrase things. Asking “why” questions has an implied judgment in it, don’t you think? Parents, the new school year isn’t just a fresh start for your child, it is for you too. What can you...

Learning Styles and Homework Help

We all think, take in and remember information differently based on our preferred learning style. Your learning style is the unique way you use your senses to learn.  When you understand how you learn, you can make learning easier. The most common learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.   If you find charts and pictures help you learn you may be a visual learner. If you would rather sit and listen to a lecture – you may be an auditory learner. To find out about your preferences you can google™ “learning style inventory” or click on one of the links below.   Once you have identified your learning style you may want to think about what learning style your teachers are teaching to. When a teacher’s style and a student’s style differ it can be harder for the student to succeed. Teachers tend to give study tips or require projects to be completed a certain way and it is often based on their own preferences. If a student’s preferences differ then it is more of a challenge for that student to do well. For example learning a new concept strictly through a lecture without any visual support would be very challenging for a visual learner like me. Pictures and visuals help me take in new information and I find I am able to remember those pictures easier than remembering words that were spoken.   How does this help with homework and studying for tests? Use your strength to help yourself study. You can create study aids in your learning style and use them to study from. Here are...