For every homework problem, there really is a solution!

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by Linda Sonna, Ph.D.

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Excerpted from The Homework Plan: A Parent's Guide to Helping Kids Excel by Linda Sonna, Ph.D.


Don't assume students will choose to study if given an option.
DO provide the structure students need by holding a study hall at home each school night.


Don't banish kids to their bedrooms where they are free to romp and roam, piddle and play.
DO have them study at a central location where you can monitor, such as the kitchen table.


Don't expect kids to study unsupervised.
DO join them at the table to read, pay bills, do a craft project, paint your fingernails, or pursue another quiet activity whenever possible.


Don't allow kids to study with the TV or stereo on.
DO set a timer & have the whole family observe quiet time during the study hall--provide puzzles and crayons for toddlers and ask them to whisper


Don't play "homework detective" to learn what has been assigned and when everything is due.
DO hold a study hall at home each day for the same length of time WHETHER OR NOT students have assignments, materials, or appear to be working.


Don't bribe or punish to get kids to bring home books and do assignments.
DO let boredom serve as a motivator by continuing to hold a study hall each night.


Don't scold kids who talk, sleep, or doodle.
DO time interruptions (both "good" and "bad," no matter who was "at fault"). Extend the study hall to compensate students for lost time. Add the time missed plus two minutes per interruption). Make sure students get their full time to study, no matter what!


Don't teach, tutor, or assume responsibility for homework.
DO play educational games and provide FUN ways to learn.


Don't complain about students' poor ability to organize, concentrate, manage responsibility, plan ahead, etc.
DO learn how to teach these crucial skills yourself.


Don't give up before YOU'VE done YOUR homework!
DO remember that for every homework problem, there really is a solution!


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