The West Wing

Today we have officially been in school for three weeks and we are in the middle of our second full week. By now, the kids are beginning to settle into the “school” routine and I’m sure that as families your schedules are also becoming more routine. Notice I didn’t say easy, or uncluttered, or manageable, just more routine. I’m not sure how some of you ever manage all that you cram into the days of the week, but I know those are choices that are made and somehow we do manage.

What I did want to address today is a topic that strikes fear into the hearts of students and parents alike; homework. While I realize there is a debate as to whether or not homework is something that should even be expected, my purpose today is not to enter into that debate, but rather to address how to be the best homework helper.

  • Your role as a parent is to be a consultant. Tell your student you are available as an ally, not an enemy. When fighting starts, learning ends.
  • Their role as a student is to take ownership. Their homework has to be theirs. Tell your students that you are proud of them when they take ownership.
  • Ask them how you can help. This will provide support and encouragement without doing the work for them or pushing them too hard.
  • Never work harder than the student. Ask them if they would like some suggestions. If they tell you they don’t want the help, respect them by backing off. It’s OK if they blow it!
  • Focus on their successes and let them learn from their failures.
  • Set up a regular place for them to do their homework. It is better if this is a place where they can be easily monitored. Remember that your role is one of a consultant.

I hope some of these ideas can help you as you face homework issues this year. You all have some great kids. Let’s work together to mold them into responsible adults!


Mrs. West