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Parents' Guide to Homework Success

Latino families take homework very seriously, and that’s good. However, it’s important to be thoughtful and flexible about homework. There’s no concrete evidence indicating that homework, at the elementary and middle school years, is academically beneficial. In fact, too much homework can have negative consequences, such as student and parental frustration and less time for extracurricular activities. Yet students these days come home with hours of homework, projects and assignments. To help handle the stress of homework for you and your children, take a look at these solutions.

Find out what your child’s teacher’s expectations on homework are. If you child is in the lower grades, discuss with the teacher how involved he/she wants you to be with homework.

Tips for Taking the “Work” Out of Homework
To ease the daily homework grind, we’ve put together a list of consejitos to help you and your child make homework time as peaceful and productive as possible. No more screaming or shouting, or tears of frustration.

Establish a Daily Routine
Children thrive under structure and routine. Encourage your child to do homework at the same time every day. Doing homework right after arriving from school, and after a snack, is the best way to avoid fatigue and distraction later on.

Know the Teacher’s Expectations
Some teachers take homework very seriously. Others are more relaxed about it. Find out what your child’s teacher’s expectations on homework are. If you child is in the lower grades, discuss with the teacher how involved he/she wants you to be with homework. Does he want you to correct your child’s answers? Does she want to see your child’s mistakes to evaluate areas that deserve more attention in the classroom?

Control Your Emotions
Homework time can be quite stressful, especially if your child needs constant reminders and homework monitoring, and especially after a long day of work for you. Try to keep your cool if your child is not cooperative. Screaming, angry outbursts or threats are counterproductive—this only gives a more negative connotation to doing homework. Take a few minutes off from it. By simply asking “What’s making homework difficult for you today…are you tired? do you feel frustrated?” you’ll be able to re-align with your child on her feelings about homework.

Homework time can be stressful, especially if your child needs constant reminders and homework monitoring. Try to keep your cool if your child is not cooperative.

Homework Environment Matters
With computers, televisions, video games and music gadgets around the home your child’s attention is constantly competing with several sources of distraction. Dedicate a quiet, clean, organized and peaceful space for your child to sit and do homework. Create the space necessary to have his textbooks, pencils and schools supplies all in one place. Make sure there is good lighting and that room temperature is adequate. Encourage your child to do his/her homework in the same place or spot every day, this will facilitate your child’s engagement and establish good routine.

Implementing these tips into your homework routine will surely take some of the pressure off of this often-stressful activity.  Remember that no matter what happens, instilling a homework routine for your children is incredibly beneficial to their development. The more you keep your cool and stick to the routine, the more they will as well.

Have a question? Let us know.
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