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Does Your Student Have Homework Overload?

Aug 17, 2007
Does your student have endless hours of homework each night? Is there no time left over for family time? If so, don't feel like you are alone. In the past twenty-five years, homework assignments have risen by 51% according to a 2004 study at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. That is an average of 12 extra hours of homework per week! How do you get the time back for your family to spend together? Teachers do want feedback from parents especially on the topic of homework. Here are three ways to ease the homework burden for the whole family!

The Problem: Total quantity
The Solution: Teacher conference. Take the time to meet with your student's teacher(s) to let them know how long your child is taking to complete their work each evening and how long he can stay focused. Teachers sometimes don't understand how much time it takes to complete the nightly assignments and really don't want them working all night on their homework any more than you do. Once they know how long the homework is taking they will most likely cut back if they know the students are having problems. A good rule of thumb for how much homework a student should have each evening would be about 10-12 minutes for each grade level. You can also request that papers and tests be spread out so that your student doesn't get hit all at once with everything.

The Problem: Busywork
The Solution: Help your child learn to do the critical thinking portion of their homework first and then to move onto the mindless work. Let the teacher know that by the time the child does the "busywork homework", she is no longer able to focus on the parts that require the concentration. Ask the teacher to help the students prioritize the homework each night so that the critical thinking portions get done first.

The Problem: Projects that require parental involvement
The Solution: Allowing your student to do most of the project on their own when maybe it isn't as perfect as it could have been had you done more. The purpose of projects is for the student to gain knowledge along with good work habits. Having the parent take over and tell the student "how" to do it does no one any good. The goal of the parent with a school project is to help along the way and NOT to do the work for the student. The parent's role is to coach and teach the student concepts and to help them understand the subject matter at hand.
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs an In-Home Tutoring service called Aim High Tutors. Find out about how to help your student reach their full potential at http://www.aimhightutors.com/blog
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