Mr. Dittrich

Joe Dittrich
4-5-6 Math and Science

How Parents Can Help with Homework

Homework is the responsibility of the student.  Don't do their homework for them.  Parents have already passed 4-5-6 math and science.  It is your child's turn to do the same thing.  Do not rescue your child.  Let them learn from their mistakes.  It is the only way they will learn.  

1. Support and endorse the importance of homework. If you complain about the amount of homework, that it interferes with football practice or family life, you are not-so-subtly telling her, "It's not a priority." Homework is your child's single most important job. Any other message is sabotage. If extra curriculars make her too tired to do her homework, rethink the activities. Homework is listed on RenWeb along with your childs grades.  Give your child access to their class RenWeb sites so they can check their own homework and grades.  It is their work.  They own it.  

2. Create a schedule and routine with your child , that is, don't impose the homework schedule on her. The routine doesn't have to be the same every day, but it should be consistent through the week. Every Monday, she does homework after piano; Tuesday, she does it after dinner, etc.  

3. Help her to be organized. What location is to real estate, organization is to homework. Create a place that she can call her own with good lighting, desk space, and tools of her trade. Most kids prefer to do homework in the kitchen (I always thought that was a compliment) but sometime in middle school, they tend to want privacy and will find some other place. It's a rite of passage, go with it.

4. Arrive at rules together. Some kids really do a better job if they are listening to music but most kids don't; most kids can't concentrate on homework if the computer or TV is on in front of them. Agreeing to computer/texting breaks (use a timer, it's objective) is one way to compromise.  

5. Don't hover but be available. Some children like parents to check it and show you their work, some don't. Reach a compromise, depending on which extreme you have. When my son reached middle school and wanted to be independent in his work, he would often ask me to read a report but only put a check in the margin if I had a suggestion or saw a problem. Then it was up to him to figure out what the problem was and whether he wanted to fix it.

6. Be in touch with the teacher.  Have a conversation with the teacher so that he/she knows what your philosophy is about homework and you know what his expectations are, including how much time it should take to complete homework, so you have some idea if your child is outside the bell curve on either end.  Emailing the teacher seems to be the easiest and quickest way to let the teacher know if your child is overwhelmed with homework or doesn't ever have any. 

7.  4th grade will have forty minutes of homework on average, 5th grade will have fifty minutes, and 6th grade will have sixty minutes, not including leisure reading of fifteen minutes every night.  Some nights will have more than the average and some night will have less.  If your child is consistently working longer than the average tell the teacher and they can make accomodations.  

8. Students have time at the end of the school day to start homework in Directed Study.  

9. Check your childs assignment journal at least once a week to see if they have missed any assignments or are behind in completing projects.