“Do you have any homework tonight?”
A simple question, yet it can spark what becomes a familiar argument throughout a child’s school years.
Haggling over homework is nothing new (most parents can remember protesting their own responsibilities on school nights), but homework battles in the 21st century are aggravated by a culture flooded with technical distractions.
According to recent research, 97 percent of youth play video games; nearly three quarters of them have an online social networking profile (Facebook, MySpace, etc.); 91 percent have a cell phone; and the typical teen sends an average of 10 text messages an hour. Is it any wonder parents will repeatedly hear their children complain that homework is boring and pointless?
Even with the advent of computers in the classroom, formal education doesn’t even come close to holding a student’s attention like the competition. Fortunately, you don’t have to be as tech-savvy as your kids to keep them engaged in their schoolwork. Even if the assignments are boring and pointless, you can use these opportunities to help your children develop the skills and attitudes they’ll need to be successful. You can get them thinking about the way they learn best, how they can motivate themselves and what it will take to succeed. You can teach them to be confident learners.
Ask more questions.
Encourage your children to take responsibility for their success. Keep your questions brief and positive — and always assume the best. For example:
- Would you like my help?
- What grade do you want to earn?
- What do you think it would take to accomplish that grade?
- How will I know your homework is being done?
- How do you want to be reminded?
More tips on ending the homework battle: