Homework Help for the Distractible Child (page 2)

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Updated on May 15, 2014

Make Prioritizing a Priority

For many distracted children, deciding what to do first during homework is a major source of tension. Encourage your child to number assignments in the order in which they should be done, before beginning his homework session. He should start with one that’s not too long or difficult, but avoid saving the longest or hardest assignments for last.

Talk About the Assignments

Guiding and supportive questions can help your child think through an assignment and break it down into small workable parts. Here are some sample questions:

  • Do you know what you’re supposed to do?
  • Do you have everything you need to do the assignment?
  • What’s the best way to get this done?
  •  Have you seen problems like these before?
  •  Does your answer make sense to you?
  •  Where did you get stuck?

Obtain an Extra Set of Textbooks

Having a spare set of textbooks at home can improve your child’s homework and studies. Start by finding out who’s responsible for providing the spares. Then contact this individual with a good reason and something to back it up.

Give Encouragement and Praise

People of all ages respond to encouragement and praise. Children need encouragement from the people whose opinions they value most—their parents. Here are some samples of encouraging statements:

  • “You really tried hard on that math even though you couldn’t finish it. I’m proud of you.”
  •  “I know you don’t like reading the book you were assigned, but I like how you are trying to tough your way through it.”
Here are some samples of praising statements:
  • “Good first draft of your book report!”
  • “You are doing so much better than last year—wonderful!”

Homework may prove to be a constant challenge for your distractible child throughout his school career, but with positive, calm, and knowledgeable parent to guide him, the challenge doesn’t have to be insurmountable.

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