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Making Homework An Investment, Not a Chore

It can be hard setting a daily homework routine that works for your child. Either the material is too complex, too long, or outside their area of interest. Even the brightest students can lose momentum throughout the school year. Not to worry, teachers from different areas offered sound advice on how to get your child back on track.
Make Homework Fun
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Education showed that students overburdened with homework show signs of high-stress levels and physical health problems. The co-authors suggest no more than two hours of homework designated to high school students and no more than 90 minutes for students in middle school.
Speech Language Pathologist, Melissa Shub M.Ed CCC-SLP, echoed these exact findings. Shub’s nearly 3 years of teaching in the public school system with middle school students helped her understand how students operate when it comes to homework. Shub said students were assigned no more than an hour or two worth of homework depending on their age. Shub told her students homework was an investment towards their future and should be considered “fun.” Having that cheerleader by their side to give a boost of confidence and reassurance influences student success according to a study published in ResearchGate. Learning the material comes more naturally to a student once they change their perception of a “tedious” task to something enjoyable.

Make Learning a Habit
According to Psychology Today and the HuffingtonPost, it takes nearly 65 days to form a new habit. Fact is, habits are hard to change, so developing a good habit early on is well worth it. Shub suggested continuing to learn even on nights without homework. The material does not have to strictly be academic, as long as the child is still learning.
Shub advised parents to find a topic their child is interested in and read with them while asking questions to pique their interest. For instance, a father can read an article about a football game to his son, and ask comprehensive questions about what they read. One of the main concerns Shub witnessed as a teacher was students falling through cracks and developing differently. Paying special attention to those types of needs in the home will benefit the student in the classroom in the long run.
Communication is Key
Elementary School Teacher and Family Academic Trainer, Syscily Brown, stresses the importance of discussing lesson plans with teachers to avoid differences in feedback and strategy at home. A study published in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement U.S. Department of Education confirmed Brown’s statements in saying that parent’s knowledge and support of the teacher’s homework policy is critical to the completion of assignments. Different ways author Nancy Paulu mentioned that teachers can communicate this information to parents was through notes sent home listing their expectations for parents to sign and send back or during back-to-school night or even a simple phone call home.
Brown says to think of homework as a mechanism for strengthening a skill instead of “busy work.” Creating this line of thinking between the teacher and student will give purpose to the assignments. Shub emphasized the need for a constant stream of communication between the parent and teacher and suggested the use of a homework folder for assignments and teacher expectations.
As with anything, it takes time to transition into a new routine. But with these three tips, your child’s nights will feel less like a marathon homework session and more like an investment in their future. We look forward to seeing your key takeaways and how you plan to implement these suggestions into your routine.

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