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Should you help your child with their homework?

The Telegraph – Violet Lambert

“Rare is the school project that hasn’t seen a little parental input. Whether supplying a few facts on a history report, sharpening the pencils for a portfolio of art, or building a perfectly scaled-down working copy of the Mars Exploration Rover from recycled almond milk cartons while your child mooches about on social media, we’ve all been there. But how much good are you doing your child by helping with school projects, or indeed, any kind of homework? Is it best to let youngsters get on with it alone or should you sit on their shoulder, chipping in as necessary?.”(more)

How to cut down on homework drama with a distraction-free space

USA Today – Jennifer Jolly

“The old parental cry, “Is your homework done?” is like Kryptonite to kids. And claims of, “I’m doing it all right now!” shouted from behind the bedroom door are like nails on a chalkboard to parents, too. So how can you cut down on the homework drama? Let a few smart tech tools come to the rescue.”(more)

Parents: It’s A Good Thing When Your Child’s Math Homework Scares You

KPBS – Megan Burks

“I have a confession to make. I’m 31 and still use my fingers to add and subtract. Like a lot of people, especially women, I’ve always just thought I’m naturally bad at math. Then I visited Perkins Elementary School in Barrio Logan. Perkins is one of several San Diego Unified campuses piloting a new kind of math instruction that aligns with Common Core academic standards. It’s based less on knowing tricks and procedures and more on understanding and communicating concepts. “Back when you were in school and when I was in school, the way we learned mathematics — and I’ll talk about the division of fractions — we all learned the trick. You flip (the fraction) over, then you multiply and that’s how you come up with the answer,” said Principal Fernando Hernandez. “It worked, but that didn’t mean that you understand the concept.”(more)

How to help kids with homework

Click Orlando – Staff Writer

“As the school year begins, so does the homework season. But homework doesn’t just involve students — parents also should play a role. According to the U.S. Department of Education, parents should assist their children in daily homework by making sure they have a quiet, well-lit place to complete their assignments. Parents should also make sure their child has all of the materials he or she needs to complete their homework and they should also help them manage their time to make sure assignments get completed on time. The U.S. Department of Education also tells parents to know when to help and when to watch. It recommends that parents guide their child without giving them the answers. It also says that when a child brings home an assignment that requires parental involvement, make sure you participate.”(more)

Is it becoming too hard to fail? Schools are shifting toward no-zero grading policies

The Washington Post – Moriah Balingit and Donna St. George

“School districts in the Washington area and across the country are adopting grading practices that make it more difficult for students to flunk classes, that give students opportunities to retake exams or turn in late work, and that discourage or prohibit teachers from giving out zeroes. The policies have stirred debates about the purpose of issuing academic grades and whether they should be used to punish, motivate or purely represent what students have learned in class…Proponents of the changes­ say the new grading systems are more fair and end up being more conducive to learning, encouraging students to catch up when they fall behind rather than just giving up…But many are critical of the shift, arguing that teachers are losing important tools to enforce diligence and prepare students for college and the workplace.”(more)

Time management critical for success

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

“Learning to read, write, solve mathematics problems, apply scientific principles to real world situations, and speak a foreign language are not the only skills children need to acquire before they leave home.” ~Confucius

Many experts argue that time management abilities are equally important. Academically gifted people cannot survive in modern society if they are not able to deliver a high quality product, on time.

Most K-12 schools are struggling to teach time management skills, because parents are constantly pressuring them about grades. Many teachers are under so much pressure to issue high marks that they create extra opportunities for students to improve their final course grade.

Although “second chances” give the parents what they want, they have the unintended consequence of teaching kids that planning is irrelevant because there are always other opportunities to change the result.

When young people get to college and/or enter the workforce “second chances” are rare. Most college professors do not offer extra papers or problem sets at the end of the semester and employers take a dim view of late arrivals, shoddy work, and missed deadlines.

Since it has become impossible for most K-12 teachers to teach time management, parents must handle the task at home.

As a first step, kids need to learn how to plan ahead. There are many free computer-based scheduling applications that help in this area. Kids generally find it easy to enter homework day by day, but often need coaching on how to break future activities, like preparing for a test that is two weeks away, into daily tasks.

Then children need to learn how to make productive use of time. For example, it takes “forever” to finish math homework when kids chat online between problems. Learning to stay off social media during homework time can go a long way to improving efficiency.

Sleep is also important for time management. It takes less time to learn material and complete homework tasks when the brain is rested, so it is important to make sure your kids get enough sleep each night.

Multi-taking is not efficient. Teach your childred to finish one task before they begins another one.

Procrastination never pays. If something is due today, make sure it is finished. Otherwise, the next day will be overwhelming.

Prioritize homework first. This prevents late nights and productivity problems.

Learning to manage time is challenging. Start teaching your child early and reward progress often!