Even though we’ve never met, I know a whole bunch about you. I’m your child’s teacher and I have heard so many stories! Don’t worry because I always change names and identifying details when writing my posts and much of what I’ve observed speaks volumes about good parenting.
For instance, there was Marissa’s reading journal completed with a strand of spaghetti stuck to its back. I knew that the dinner table was the established spot for homework at her house. This was the only time that Marissa served me a snack with her journal, but I could always count on her to turn in assignments on the due date. It was clear that at her house, time and space were provided for homework completion.
Then there is Ben. One day he dropped his backpack on the floor and it landed with a crash. “What on earth are you lugging around in there?” I asked. As he unzipped and pulled out a kel light, I realized that one of his parents was a first responder. After years of being married to a police officer, we have at least a dozen of these flashlights stashed around our house and in cars.
“I forgot to take it out of my backpack this morning,” Ben explained. “I had to finish my calculus in the car after hockey practice, so my dad handed me his flashlight.” I didn’t press any further because I knew that many kids of police officers keep their parents’ profession under wraps at school. I also knew the value that this parent placed on education. By providing this simple assistance, Ben’s dad signaled the value of hard work and of learning.
I could add in all the regular homework tips provided by educators: Ensure your child has a quiet, well-lit area to work; make sure your child has paper, pencils and other materials needed for the assignment; teach your child about time management; be positive and supportive about homework; don’t help too much, especially if homework is meant to be done by your child alone; and stay in touch with teachers! If your child is struggling, or even if you think there is just too much homework, talk to the teacher. We do listen to parents!
The bottom line is that it’s really not about the “homework” help provided at home and it’s certainly not about the “work.” It’s all about the first syllable of “homework.” It’s the home that matters. You have provided a home that gets the homework done, makes the homework of high quality, and occasionally you give break. “Homework is important but tonight (or this weekend) is about family.”
Always keep homework and grades in perspective. If your child is learning and loves learning, the grades and homework will take care of themselves and school will be the great experience it should be.
Your child’s teacher