Homework: Theirs…Not Ours!

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By Tracey Matthews Wynter, Supervisor of the Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Department
        

This month’s theme is “Empowering Parents”, and empowering parents is directly related and connected to empowering children. Check out the following opportunities that will not only provide us as parents more time to be “parents” but also simultaneously increase the “power” and capacity of our children to think and work smarter and more independently when it comes to homework and at-home learning. 

POWER TIP #1: “To teach is to learn twice” – Joseph Joubert

The ability to teach what one has learned demonstrates the highest level of understanding.  Insist that your child teach you the new skills(s) he or she learned in school each day.   This will help you keep up with your child’s current learning on a regular basis, encourage your child to be prepared to teach you something new each day, and most importantly enhance their level of learning.

POWER TIP #2: “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” – James Baldwin

We should model the behavior we wish to see in our children.  While your child is doing homework, spend time reading or working, and make sure your child knows what you are doing.  It’s always easier to accomplish a task when we feel we are not alone in our efforts.  When you’ve both completed your “homework”, you can both talk about how much you’ve accomplished or learned.

POWER TIP #3: “I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” – Abraham Lincoln

Homework is designed to help students maintain and increase their knowledge.  Have your child make up his or her own sample quiz or questions/problems on index cards with the correct answers on the back of the cards.  Then use these materials to help your child review what has been learned or even help him or her prepare for a quiz or assignment.

POWER TIP #4: “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy. Do what is great while it is small.” –Sun Tzu

Timing is everything, particularly when it comes to balancing homework and at-home learning with other after-school demands.  Consider having your child complete what is most difficult, most important, and required first.  If time runs short, his or her priorities will be finished.  Save and complete easy or optional tasks last—even if they are more enjoyable—when your child is more likely to be most tired or even first thing in the morning before leaving for school.  Reading for 20 minutes per day is an example of a quick and fun assignment

Lastly, find a regular time for homework when possible, and help your children plan how he or she will use limited time. For long-term assignments/projects that will require a lot of time, use a small calendar to plan when and what step(s) of the assignment will be completed daily.

Source: http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/44-proven-ideas-parents-can-use-to-help-their-children-do-better-in-school.htm

Please let us know if you try any of these ideas, and share your success stories!  We’d also like to hear from you if you have other related tips.  To share your ideas and/or make topic suggestions for future articles, contact Mrs. Tracey Matthews Wynter, Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Department Supervisor, 865-594-9525, tracey.matthews@knoxchools.org.  For more information and resources available to Knox County Schools’ students and families, please visit us online at knoxschools.org/fce and knoxschools.org/frc.

FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER’S RESOURCE OF THE MONTH:

Cancer Support Community of East Tennessee

The Cancer Support Community of East Tennessee helps cancer patients and their loved ones enhance their health and well being by providing professionally led programs.  The Cancer Support Community of East Tennessee offers a full range of educational and emotional support services in a comfortable home-like setting.  All services are completely free of charge.  For more information and a calendar of upcoming programs, visit cancersupportet.org or call 865-546-4661.

For additional local resources, contact Mrs. Tamekia Jackson, Knox County Schools Family Resource Center Director,tamekia.jackson@knoxschools.org, 865-594-1192.

We wish you a wonderful new school year!

Tracey Matthews currently serves as Knox County Schools’ District-wide Family and Community Engagement Supervisor. In this position, Tracey has been entrusted with the responsibility to facilitate the district’s course toward building stronger and lasting partnerships between families, schools, and the community. For more information, please visit the Family and Community Engagement at knoxschools.org.

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