Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Homework Trap

Kenneth Goldberg, a clinical psychologist with 35 years of professional experience in dealing with many different psychological issues. He has worked with children, adolescents and adults.

In his post The homework trap and what to do about it, he writes about three adjustments that are crucial for what he calls homework-trapped children:

1. Time-bound homework. Just like school starts and stops by the clock, define homework as a fixed period of time. See what the child can do in a reasonable amount of time and work with that child on using the time well.

2. Reduced penalties. Zeros factored in 25 percent of the grade is too harsh of a penalty to alter behavior. Lesser consequences will prove more effective in both mobilizing the child and allowing the parent to approach the issue calmly.

3. Respect lines of authority. Teachers are in charge of their classrooms. Parents should tread lightly when it comes to telling them what to do. Parents are the people in charge of their homes; teachers should not tell parents how to organize their homes. Ultimately, when decisions are to be made about behaviors in the home (i.e. homework), the parent needs to be the one with the final say.

For more on rethinking Homework, check out this page.

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