I recently read “The Homework Squabbles” by Bruce Feiler in The New York Times (September 14, 2014). Feiler interviewed Eva Pomerantz, a specialist on parent involvement from the University of Illinois and Erika Patall, an expert on motivation and achievement from the University of Texas. Following are some tips mentioned in the article:
- It's good for the parent to be nearby to provide some guidance if needed, but it's important for the child to do the work him/herself.
- Preferences of lighting, location and sitting/laying down will vary from person to person. Homework should be completed in a setting that is physically comfortable for the child and free of distractions. There is ample research that indicates people tend to be very bad multi-taskers. Trying to do more than one thing at a time prolongs the time homework takes and diminishes the quality of work.
- Regularly checking your childs' homework may motivate them to put in more effort and catch their own mistakes.
- It's okay to give feedback and help your child see where they can try harder. Just be careful not to be overly critical and make your child feel stupid.
- The key to keeping children motivated is to give them as much control over their homework as possible.