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Three Strategies to End Homework Wars

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It happens to moms all over the United States. While you’re figuring out how to get a hot, nutritional meal on the table, your child is supposed to be getting homework done. The problem is that dinner is burning because you’re checking in on your kid every five minutes because he or she is off task. The list is endless: – Your child is stalling because there is a book or another material needed for homework that was forgotten in the locker at school
– The assignment was written down wrong (or not at all), and your child has no idea what to do
– You have a daydreamer
– Your child is stuck on a problem or task and won’t even attempt it without your help
– Your child read it, but can’t comprehend or retain any of it for the questions at hand

At Coleman Vision we talk with moms every day who are deep in the trenches of homework wars. We help parents diagnose vision problems which can be at the bottom of all of these issues. Vision therapy is not an over-night solution so as we help your child, we’ve also put together a few key strategies you can use at home to help end the homework wars.

Strategy One: Establish a time and place for homework.
There’s no “right time” for every kid or every family. Does the child work best if homework gets completed immediately after school, if there is a short break after school, or in the evening after dinner? Try various times if needed until you find the routine that works best for your child. Consider the location too. Your child may have a desk in his room, but is that the best place for completing homework? Maybe your child works better at the dining room table, where there’s more room to spread out.

Strategy Two: Have one place for you child to write down their homework assignments.
If your child is in upper elementary or above, he or she is likely to be changing classes. Rather than writing homework assignments down in six or seven different subject area notebooks, help your child decide on a dedicated notebook where homework for all classes will be recorded. This folder is a critical folder, and one the child will need to bring home every single day. A cheap spiral notebook is best and every day the child simply turns to the next page, writes a date and lists assignments. When it’s time to begin homework, do a quick review of the assignments for the day with your child. Help him or her prioritize the assignments and organize materials for the first task.

Strategy Three: Issue rewards and consequences as appropriate.
Sit down with your child and lay out a structured system of rewards and consequences. These don’t have to be tangible rewards. You know what TV shows and video games your child likes to watch, so here’s one that’s very simple: You can or can’t watch this show or play this game depending on the homework outcome for the week. Other rewards might include going to the park, family game night where your child is in charge, or get out of doing one chore! Other consequences might include being grounded from social media or seeing friends, assigning extra chores, or losing part of the allowance. Regardless what you chose, it is imperative that you stick to the system.

In this modern world we know parents are not the only ones suffering from the homework wars. If grandparents help with the daily pick up and homework routine it is important to communicate these strategies with them while your child is present. This creates a common understanding and accountability. Letting your child’s teacher know about this program may also help you in the long run. By informing them, you may find them helping with the homework assignment list or giving positive feedback for assignment improvement.

It is our goal to improve lives through vision. At Coleman Vision we know that tackling these issues can make a huge improvement in your family life and your child’s success! If your child is struggling with homework, take the quiz and find out if these struggles are due to an undiagnosed vision based learning problem.


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