Have you endured the experience of supervising, snoopervising, and actually doing your child’s homework? I believe every parent wants the child to do the work independently but for some that habit does not seem to develop naturally. Some parents monitor every step of their child’s work and the child manipulates the system until the parent is doing more work than the child.


The best way a parent can help a child with homework is to set the stage, help with needed materials, and help with comprehension. These tasks can be accomplished by asking 3 simple questions.

  1. Do you have everything you need to do your work? (supplies)
  2. Do you want to get this done? Do you care about this assignment? (motivation)
  3. Do you understand the assignment? Do you know what you have to do? (comprehension)
  4. Always have a procedure so the child can ask a comprehension question. They come to you. You help with the question. They return to their workspace. Getting them to move away from the workspace will help give a break and a new perspective and it helps keep the parent from inserting into the homework process longer than is needed.

    When you start with these three broad questions you teach your child how to assess the situation, how to develop potential solutions, and how to implement the most reasonable solution first. Resist any temptation to direct, take over, and lecture. If you start by telling them what they need your brain is working not theirs. If you get flak about the stupidity of the assignment resist the temptation to lecture. They may say, “I don’t care about this; I don’t think I’m even going to bother doing it.” Resist the lecture. Many parents respond with comments as “How do you think you are going to get through school? Do you think life is always going to be positive? Do you think you’re going to always get to do just what you want to do? “ You are not motivating them. You are just lecturing. That is not going to help the situation. You can use good listening skills by reflecting what you heard your child say. “This just seems like a silly assignment and you wish you did not have to do it. That seems like a discussion to be held with your teacher. Right now that’s the assignment. Until it is changed it must be completed.”

    Whenever we can allow the child to take leadership in getting the materials, (supplies) getting on board (motivation) and check for their understanding or call a friend for help (comprehension) then the child is in charge of their assignment. This process leads to the greater independent processing skills they will need in the future as they become better at self-management. Sometimes good parenting with homework task is knowing how to set the stage and knowing when to step back.

    What if:

    If the child does not do the homework ask him to analyze the situation and determine if he needs additional assistance with supplies, motivation, or comprehension. Failure to complete the work is not an option. Getting help with one of the three specific areas is an option.

    If the student has truly been working for an hour talk with them about taking a break. Some may want to continue but others will welcome a ten-minute break before returning to task.

    Follow up:

    When there is no homework due you can do a formative evaluation and ask your child if the process is working for him or would he like to make some additional choices such as studying with friends, having music on while he works, or taking frequent breaks.

Knowing Me Knowing You

This book is a treat for all readers. In groundbreaking style, book introduces type differences through original stories.

Characters model their best way to solve problems, work with friends, cope with life issues, and form relationships. Each story is complete so children can choose which story they want to read.