Homework Blues?

     This is the time of year when report cards often come home giving parents lots of information on both academic progress and the behavior and work ethic of their children.
     We’ll talk more in the future about the behavior portion of the card, but for now let’s focus on grades and work ethic. What can you find out about your children from these cards?? What age levels are we talking about…actually, all of them in one way or another!

reading should always be an option when there is no homework
no matter what the age of the children

     Preschoolers’ report cards: Look for comments on how they socialize with others, how well they listen, and how well they follow directions. You can help at home in all those areas. Watch how they interact with people and increase play group times if necessary. Make sure you follow through with consequences if the kids have a hard time listening to your directions the first time you give them or if they can’t seem to complete tasks you give them. The more you encourage them now, the easier their school years will be in the future.

     Elementary kids’ report cards: As the kids go through their elementary years keep a close eye on continuing trends over time–a hard time with math success or difficulty completing or turning in homework. Find consequences early on that help them to improve. Find specific places for homework to be done–PLEASE NOT in a bedroom filled with computers, TVs, video games, and phones. No matter how much they say they are working (and no matter how much you want to believe them) they will become distracted or disinterested. Elementary kids need constant oversight (every few minutes, not every half hour) to stay on task and to then feel the achievement of completing their homework successfully and in a minimum amount of time.
     High School kids’ report cards: If high schoolers have learned that important work ethic when they were younger, you can loosen the reins a bit as long as their report cards show what you them to. Continue to look for sudden changes in work or behavior which should result in a tightening of those reins, back to more structure and oversight.

which leads to high school graduation

Chad was working in CO during his college graduation ceremony

another high school graduation

Scott’s graduation from MSU

     There are many years of hard work and practice from preschool right through college for the kids, and lots of years of encouragement, boundaries, and discipline for the parents. But the rewards for both children and parents are huge in seeing those little guys become responsible, successful, independent young adults.

     More homework tips soon. Do you have any special questions or concerns you’d like us to deal with?? Send them along!

Happy Parenting!
D and C