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3 Important Things Parents Should Know About Homework

Posted on Oct 31, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch


Homework is a fact of life for students, but it is not always easy to get them to complete this essential task.  Here are three important things parents should know about homework that can help make homework time a more positive and productive experience.

1. Help Your Child Understand the Purpose of Homework

It is hard to buy into something when one does not see the value in it.  Helping children see homework as beneficial exercise rather than a pointless chore can make a big difference.


  • Helps reinforce the concepts taught in the classroom.
  • Provides additional practice by giving students the opportunity to apply newly-acquired skills to new situations.
  • Builds the foundation for the future by helping to establish habits and practices that prepare students for an increasing workload as they progress through school.

2. Know Your Roles in the Process

It is important that both you and your child understand that homework is ultimately his or her responsibility.  In other words, homework is not your job, it is your child’s.  Your job is to is to act as a coach/facilitator who empowers your child to take ownership in the homework process.

Ways to do this include:

  • Setting expectations by assisting in the establishment of a homework routine, creating a designated  space in which homework is completed, and maintaining the materials needed to complet the work.
  • Helping your child develop organization and time management skills.
  • Providing guidance when things might not be clear.

Girl doing homework

3. Motivation is the Key

While it is not your job to do the work, it is your job to support, encourage and motivate your child.  Here are some ways to do that.

  • Set a good example and be available to address questions or concerns.
  • Monitor your child’s progress and reward his or her efforts.
  • Give your child the freedom to make his or her own choices and the responsibility to deal with consequences.

When parents take an active interest in their children’s homework, they show them that what they do is important, leading to success in not only homework but in their overall educational career as well. 

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Topics: Homework tips

How to Raise A Reader: 7 Ways to Instill a Love of Reading in Your Child

Posted on May 13, 2014 6:30:00 AM by Kim Schlauch


Reading is a key cornerstone of learning and an important life skill.  Instilling a love of reading in your child is one of the best gifts you can give your child.  Here are 7 specific ways to teach your child to learn to love reading.

1.  Help Your Child Discover the Joy of Reading.

 Children will find joy in reading when they read amazing, fun, exciting books they just can’t put down.  That being said, help your child find books in line with his or her interests.  If your child finds a book boring, move on to another.  Make the experience as pleasurable as possible by creating a reading-friendly environment, whether it be under a comfy blanket on the sofa or under a favorite back yard tree. 

2.   Read to Your Child Early and Often.

Reading regularly to your child can help develop an interest in reading and will establish reading as an important routine.  And don’t stop reading to your child once he or she learns to read.  Continuing this habit keeps children interested as their reading skills develop.  Children also benefit from it as they learn correct pronunciation and hear the rhythm of the language.  Most important, reading to your child is a great way to spend quality time together and gives you fodder for conversation.

3.  Assist in Finding Books That Interest Your Child.

Regular visits to the library can give your child the opportunity to explore a variety of interesting books.  Through this exploration, your child may find a favorite genre, author, or series that can provide hours of reading entertainment.  Don’t forget to consider graphic novels for reluctant readers or non-fiction books for those more interested in facts.

4. Keep Books Around.

Keep books on hand with interesting titles and covers that will capture your child’s attention and interest.  Let your child know you value books by giving them as rewards or birthday gifts.


5.  Limit Technology.

Eliminate the competition by limiting TV or computer time and encourage reading as an alternative free time activity.

6. Support Your Child in Developing a Habit of Reading.

Make reading a routine activity.  Encourage your child to read for a minimum of 10 minutes a day and be consistent.  Employ the use of the reading strategies mentioned to make reading a desirable activity and not a chore.

7.  Set the Example.

Be a role model for your children.  Show your enthusiasm for reading by letting your child see you read.  Discuss what you are all reading at the dinner table.  Pick a book to read as a family and take turns reading it.  Share your love of reading, or discover it together.

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Steps to Homework Success at a Private School- Part 3: Motivation

Posted on Mar 29, 2014 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

With the proper attitude in place and a homework routine established, the next step to homework success is motivation.


1. Be supportive and set the example.  While it is not your job to do the work, the right amount of guidance on your part can go a long way in achieving homework success.  As a lack of preparation or understanding can lead to homework procrastination, take a moment at the beginning of each session to ensure your child has everything needed to begin the work, such as special materials for a project or a clear understanding of the assignment at hand.  Be available to answer questions that might arise.  Set the example by sitting down with your child and doing your own work at the same time ( e.g. read a book, balance your checkbook, etc.)

2. Reward efforts.

When it comes to homework, intrinsic rewards that aim to foster satisfaction for a job well done are generally more effective than material rewards since they foster motivation that comes from within as opposed to motivation that is driven by a desire for an external reward.  Offer praise for work done well.  Accentuate the positives rather than focusing on the negatives.  When real rewards are merited, offer simple incentives such as an ice cream outing, a pizza dinner, or a special family time event.


3. Let your child make his own choices and deal with the consequences.  

As homework is ultimately your child’s responsibility, your job is to set limits and respect individual choices. While younger children may need more hands-on support and guidance, older children need more freedom.  And that includes the freedom to choose whether or not to do their homework and face the logical consequences of their actions.  Let your child deal with the teacher and the bad grades received as a result of her inaction.  While it may be difficult step aside, this is the best way to help your child as it will teach him important lessons in self-responsibility.  You can; however, support the process in other ways.  For example, with your child’s input, you can put together a study plan that involves more structure and follow up during homework time to get your child back on his or her feet.

With the right attitude, clear boundaries and proper motivation, homework challenges can often be avoided. Sometimes, however, issues arise that are more a  matter of “can’t do” versus “won’t do.”  In these cases it is best to alert the teacher so you can work together to resolve these challenges and improve your child’s homework and learning experiences.

In what ways can you change your approach to make homework time a more positive experience?

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Topics: Homework tips

3 Steps to Homework Success at a Private School- Part 2: Boundaries

Posted on Mar 25, 2014 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch


Once the importance of a positive attitude towards homework is understood, the next step is to set boundaries by establishing a consistent homework routine.

1. Time

Find a time for homework that is best suited to your child’s and your family’s needs, such as right after school, after a designated period of free time, or immediately following dinner.  In addition, set a cut-off time for homework completion.  While you may need to be a bit more flexible on days your child has after-school activities, the main goal is to establish a routine and stick to it.

2. Place

Designate a comfortable, well-lit location for completing homework with minimal distractions.  Maintain a supply of materials, such as paper, pens/pencils, crayons/markers, sharpener, etc. that your child may need to complete assignments.  In addition, make sure your child has access to homework research tools in the designated area, such as a computer with internet access.

3. Parameters

Set the expectation regarding where homework fits in the grand scheme of things.  Homework should take priority over other activities such as screen time and even weekend and after school activities if they interfere with homework completion.  Another important factor to consider is organization.  Help your child find a way to organize thoughts and materials to make the process a more pleasant one (e.g. reviewing all homework to be completed up front and working on the hardest homework first, making sure all materials are on hand for a special project before starting it).

When setting boundaries it is a good idea to involve your child in creating ground rules where it makes sense to do so.  (e.g. give your child a choice between two homework completion time frames and let your child pick one).  This will encourage ownership and buy-in to the process and more of a willingness on your child’s part to follow the routine.  And remember, once the routine is established, consistency is a big key to success!