Students don’t all struggle with homework, but many do. Worse yet, often homework assignments serve little purpose in the way of a positive learning experience. The kids who suffer the most are those with special needs. Any kind of neuro-developmental problems like learning disorders, ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, or an information processing disorder will disrupt the execution of homework. Many students struggle with executive function, which can make activities like planning, organizing, and remembering details and managing time and space extremely difficult. The first hassle for these kids with organizational deficits is getting the homework assignments written down and recorded properly. This process alone can be the major stumbling block along with remembering to bring home the necessary materials needed for each assignment. Many parents complain that their child struggles with even the simplest homework tasks and that study time is a nightly battle that can take hours and puts undue stress on families. After a long demanding day at school, exhausted kids who have held it together all day may struggle even more to complete their homework without an argument or meltdown. Multiple factors may be contributing to your child’s homework struggles. If you are lucky enough to be in a school with a 1:1 initiative or your child qualifies for assistive technology, the iPad or iPhone can be one way to tackle the HW issues. Apps such as myHomework can be a real help in organizing your child, especially if you have the teachers on board familiar and utilizing this technology. Most Learning Management Systems (LMS) are pre-installed on school iPads and they all have an assignment pad to record daily HW. What many students prefer to do is take a picture of the homework right off the teacher’s classroom board with their digital device.*Warning, not all schools permit picture taking. Homework Apps: myHomework Student Planner - has a clean interface and design, making it great for middle or high school. This is one of the top homework apps out there. We would prefer to pay premium than pay to remove ads. iHomework - Keep up-to-date with your school work, grades, to-do's, teacher's information, and almost everything else you need during the school year. NO TECH, TRY these TIPS: Find below some common roadblocks to homework success and tips that will help ease the daily battle: • Make sure your child knows where and how to record his or her homework assignments, this may be one of the biggest challenges in the success of HW • Create a system for helping to remember necessary items to complete all assignments • Look into the option of keeping a duplicate set of textbooks and materials at home • Create an organizational structure and routine, set a schedule and post this schedule to avoid confusion and limit negotiations • Make sure hunger is not an issue by providing a healthy snack after school • Minimize distractions and beware of sensory overload • Design your child’s homework space as an organized work space, free of clutter and contains all items needed to complete the work • Allow for breaks and movement. Kids with attention and sensory issues may do best if they are allowed to move while they study, standing is even acceptable • Returning homework to school, and remembering to hand it in is often a major stumbling block and may need special attention Remember that all kids are different and what works for one child may not be ideal for another. Some kids will need a break after school before beginning homework. Children with learning and behavioral disorders often need an adult nearby to help them stay focused on the task at hand. Some kids benefit from short bursts of studying instead of marathon study sessions. Using a visual timer to ensure a child stays on schedule throughout work time and break time may. If your child has a long term paper or project due, he or she may be overwhelmed with the mere size of the assignment. Help your child break a large task into smaller ones, and work on these smaller tasks a bit daily. Waiting until the last minute is usually a disaster. Consider your child’s learning style. Some children are visual learners and may respond better to charts, graphs, puzzles, and pictures to learn new concepts. For verbal learners, consider having them read passages out loud to help them comprehend what they are reading. If possible hire a tutor or utilize the school’s homework club. Some children will respond better to an alternative authority figure when completing homework tasks. Another option is completing homework at your public library. Communication with your child’s school is key. Reach out to your child’s teacher to see if he or she has ideas for homework success. If possible, agree on a maximum time the child will spend on homework each night.
Written by Jayne Clare
Jayne Clare is dedicated to being in the forefront of the ever-changing digital landscape. She has been working directly with students and startups and recognizing what works and what doesn’t, along with the why behind both. Jayne co-founded Teachers With Apps in 2011.
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