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Getting the Most Bang for your Buck From School  

As many of you know, my wife Debbi is a public school teacher.   She has been teaching for ten years and I have enlisted her help with a new series of columns on how to help your kids get the most bang for their (your) buck in school.  We’re going to start with the parents’ role in helping kids with homework.

First of all, it needs to be help rather than doing the homework for them.  Homework should be practice of things the kids have learned in school already so should not be new to them.  They may need some help with structuring themselves and focusing or in understanding and getting through some concepts that they haven’t fully grasped yet, but the work should be theirs.  Besides, teachers know when it is parents who are completing the work rather than the kids.

Kids may tell you they haven’t learned how to do something yet or the teacher didn’t talk about it, but remember that homework is practice of what they have been exposed to.  If kids are continually telling you this, it could be a message that they are not paying attention very well in school.  Keeping them responsible for their own work at home should, over time, help them be more motivated to pay attention in class.

Next month we will talk about making homework a regular routine.