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The Homework Lie

Dear Obsessive Mother's Guide to Parenting,

         This may seem like a strange question, but I am concerned that my daughter's teacher doesn't give any homework.  My friends who have children in other classes are always complaining about the amount of work sent home.  I don't know if I should be grateful to not have to worry about homework or concerned that she's not getting the same practice.  

         What do you think?  My daughter is in the 3rd grade.


Natalie in The Woodlands


Dear Natalie,

           Great question.  "Homework" is an absolute lie.  Homework is like an educational prescription that says, "If you do this work, you will know this material."  There is no way to give the same "prescription" to every child.  For some, they may have mastered the concept on the first problem.  For others, they may need twice the amount of practice until they understand.

            Here's what you need to do:

1) Get a complete understanding of what the objective of the lesson is.  Ex: Learning to add decimals.

2) If it seems your daughter has mastered this concept with the time and work she does in class, then it is fine that she doesn't have extra practice.  You have to check this on a daily basis

3) If she doesn't have a firm grasp on the work, it's your turn to become her teacher.  Book stores have shelves of practice material.  You can find educational games on every electronic device known to man.  Get her a private tutor if she's really struggling or enlist the help of one of our area's fabulous tutoring businesses.

4) Don't be afraid to be the bad guy.  You can have her do extra work in a positive way.  Tie working to rewards and make studying together part of your quality interaction time each day.  

Hang in there Stephanie.  You are doing a great job.  We applaud you for keeping a close watch on your daughter's education.  Keep us posted on her progress and as always Happy Obsessive Parenting!


The Obsessive Mother's Guide to Parenting

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