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Why ban books when you could ban homework?

9/20/2022

Hey there,

Now that you're settled into the school year, I'm sure the honeymoon phase has ended and homework battles are beginning. When I taught, I personally hated assigning homework, but I can't say all teachers feel the same. In fact, homework is a huge controversy in schools and each one I taught at had a different policy. The "go to" rule of thumb has become about 10 minute per grade level plus 15-20 minutes of reading. Sure that works in the lower grades, but by the time you reach 5th grade that's over an hour of homework each night!

So how do you manage it? Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing tips on how to make homework a productive time. This week will focus on you- next week will focus on your child.

  • Do a little digging 🕵️‍♂️: Most teachers do not grade homework aside from completion. Many do not grade it at all (especially in the lower grades). With a mix of parents asking kids to copy sentences and others doing it on the bus, it's not fair to grade nightly assignments. Plus, we can tell from their performance in class if they are practicing at home. When you're doing homework, you do not need to seek perfection. So take your drill sergeant hat off and just focus on priorities.
  • Read between the lines 👀 (or even ask the teacher directly) to figure out what the bottom line is with homework. I always had a few parents explain that their after school hours were hectic, so we "re-negotiated" the homework plan.
  • Make a schedule 📆: Find a time that can be dedicated to homework. Ideally the same time daily so you can make a routine. Many pick right after school, but some early risers may do better in the morning. You're going to have to enforce this schedule, so make sure it's a good time for you too! If your child is doing homework with a tutor or after school program, make a few minutes to go over it with them for accountability.
  • Make a space 📋: Under no circumstances should your child be alone during homework time!! This is where the slacking starts 😂 You don't need to hover, but you should be able to keep an eye on them and check in every 5 minutes or so. Even at the high school level kids cannot multitask, so keep their homework area clean and the tv off. Next week I'll explain how to use timers to keep them on task.
  • Read 📚: Probably every teacher you'll encounter in elementary school will ask your child to read. Without a doubt, if you have to pick between the worksheet or reading- pick reading. From learning to relax, to test scores, to vocabulary growth there are lots of studies showing a daily reading habit will benefit your child long term. Plus it's a nice time to bond together 🥰

Banned Books Week: Speaking of reading- it's Banned Books Week! I'll be posting a few satirical videos about children's books that were banned over the years. First up, is why the most innocent Dr. Seuss book was banned. Click below!

video preview

If you know a family that's got the homework blues, encourage them to sign up for this newsletter. Send them this link. They can sign up and view previous newsletters

See you next week!

Natalie

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