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      Learning Curve- Less Homework Stress

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      Many area schools are having their fall Parent TeacherConferences. One of the things that parents may think is that homework causes a lot of stress at home, and many times parentsjust suffer in silence and don't share that with the teachers during theirconferences.

      If parents are in power struggles with their children at home overhomework, it can make for a pretty miserable 13 years of schooling. Power struggles begin with the parents'response to their child refusing to do their homework or not focusing andstaying on task.

      If a child says in oneway or another, "I'm not doing this and you can't make me," the parents' response should send themessage, "You are absolutely right, but then here are theconsequences." So many parentsdon't want to allow their children to have to deal with the consequences athome--but especially at school, so they help their child or even do thehomework for their child.

      Parents having these problems should talk to the teacher. The general ruleis that a child should have 10 minutes of homework each evening X their grade level(excluding reading times). If the childis spending far more than that, the parent should keep a one or two week log ofthe time spent and share it with the teacher.

      Thentogether the teacher and parent can discuss the problem and diagnose what itactually is. There might be too muchhomework, the child may not understand the assignment before leaving theclassroom, or the child may have difficulty focusing.

      Then the teacher andparent can discuss ideas for creating an ideal time and setting for homework,or adjusting the quantity of the homework, using various strategies likesetting a timer for short bursts of homework time with breaks.

      The parent's role is just tohelp make sure the child understands what he or she is to be doing. Don't nag or and don't micromanage. State your expectations and the consequencesfor not following them, don't restate.Give your child specific praise and stay close by to monitor what thechild is doing.

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