H-CENTRAL COAST

Aug 20, 2013 6:57 AM by Kathy Kuretich

Homework tips from a local education expert

For some parents, homework time is often met with a lot of moans and groans... and excuses.

But Speech, Language and Education Specialist Dona Hare Price said it doesn't have to be a battle, if you give your child choices.

She has four tips to help.

Tip number one: "The first place to start is space. Allow your child to choose where they want to work," said Hare Price.

The floor, the table, anywhere is acceptable, she said, as long as they get the work done. One 1st grader, she works with would only do her homework on someone's lap or on top of the table."She sits at a desk all day long at school. It's perfectly acceptable for her to sit on the table and do her work quickly and efficiently," she said.

Tip number two: Set a timer.

Hare Price said divide homework time into chunks... with a five minute break in between."Allow your child to choose something that they need to do that is arousing or gets the energy flowing." A physical exercise will work, or if the child is tired, a quiet moment laying down. That doesn't mean, she said, playing video games or computer time.

Tip number three: Allow the child a choice in homework order.

Hare Price said the parent should place sticky notes with numbers directly on the homework, in the order the child wants. "Then clarify - the reading is number two, correct? The child says yes, and then move on so there is no argument." She suggests also writing the homework order on a white board. The parent writes the expectations and the child gets to erase them as they're completed.

Tip number four: Incentives. Sometimes, she said, kids need some positive reinforcement. A point system, you develop with your child, will encourage the child to stay on task. The more points they accumulate, the bigger the reward.

"Make sure it is concrete and clear. One point means homework is completed within the allotted time with no complaints," she said. Each complaint equals lesser points.

Dona Hare Price said all of these tips allow the child a choice... which empowers both the parents and the kids.

For more information on Dona Hare Price, check out her website, www.learnconnectplay.com

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