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Homework Hero: A Parent's Guide to Helping Their Kids with after School Assignments

Overview

Overwhelmed by the daily demands that homework places on your child, your family...and you?

Homework Heroes can help. This user-friendly guide takes a unique approach to homework, addressing both the psychological and the practical issues involved in creating a successful, more positive homework experience for everyone.

The introduction, by nationally recognized learning specialist Priscilla L.Vail, M.A.T., ...

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Overview

Overwhelmed by the daily demands that homework places on your child, your family...and you?

Homework Heroes can help. This user-friendly guide takes a unique approach to homework, addressing both the psychological and the practical issues involved in creating a successful, more positive homework experience for everyone.

The introduction, by nationally recognized learning specialist Priscilla L.Vail, M.A.T., addresses twenty important homework questions for you to consider, including:

* Do you and your child have a homework pact?
* Do your child's study skills and learning skills match the assigned tasks?
* Do your child's developmental and language levels match the assigned tasks?

Homework Heroes is also a quick reference tool that you can use to help explain important junior high math, English, science, and social studies concepts to your child. This instant review covers a variety of topics, including:

* Adding and subtracting polynomials
* The difference between a simile and a metaphor
* Characteristics of plant and animal cells
* The difference between gross national product and annual revenue

Also includes:

* Insight on how to help your child approach factual questions, essay questions, and long-term assignments
* "Homework Heroics" sidebars with activities to help your child build essential skills

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743222594
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/1902
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 11 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Introduction

INTRODUCTION

Homework Heroes: Grades 6-8

Homework is a fact of life for most children, but parents are often confused about their role in this daily drama and concerned about meshing homework with the general dynamics of personal and family life. While homework is sometimes a source of frustration and argument, it can also be a vehicle for cooperation, a source of pride and accomplishment, and an opportunity for fun and creativity.

Fantasy? No.

From my own experiences as a full-time teacher for over a quarter of a century, a parent of four children, a grandmother of six, a student of learning, a curriculum planner, and a designer and leader of teacher and parenting workshops across this country and abroad, I have some:

complexities to explore and strategies to share
cautions to mention and techniques to offer
issues to highlight and research to quarry
questions to raise and purposes to reinforce

These combinations can help you and your child reduce negatives to a minimum and enhance the positive aspects of a daily reality. You can be Homework Heroes to one another, and this book is designed to set you on your way.

If you have read some of my books or articles, or have heard me speak, some of what follows here may sound familiar. Good, that means we are already friends. For new acquaintances, my message is both realistic and optimistic:

Your child can succeed.
You can survive.
There is life after homework.

Percolate and Prepare

Well-planned homework in grades 6-8 helps students percolate and prepare. Because their school schedules push them relentlessly from one subject to another -- each with its own vocabulary -- students benefit from homework time as a chance to sift through what they are learning and let new information join with old in personal, therefore permanent, ways. They also can use homework time as a way to prepare for class discussions. Percolate and prepare.

Obviously, students at this level also need to have solidified the skills from earlier levels. It is dangerous to climb a ladder skipping rungs.

Students in grades 6-8 are cusp-sitters, trying to figure out whether they are adults or children. Those who teach them and raise them are both flame keepers and flame tamers. In spite of sophisticated terminology (frequently sexual) many of these young people are internally chaotic and immature. Thus, adults in their lives must remember to reach to the heart as well as teach to the head.

Pediatrician and author Mel Levine says that the governing agenda for students this age is "the avoidance of humiliation at all costs." For example, some would rather receive a zero than hand in written work if it's likely to come back looking like a patient from the emergency room, slashed with red marks. One seventh-grader said, "All I get back are bleeding beasts. It's embarrassing." One kid might become the class clown to disguise his poor reading. Another might try to apply such social skills as cooperation, politeness, and flattery to intimidating intellectual challenges. These are ages of blunt honesty and close concealment. Adults need to accept the former and penetrate the latter.

A word to the wise: provide those structures and examples of orderliness that show children how to organize themselves. Parents who say with barely concealed pride, "I'm never on time," are hobbling their offspring. Anyone can learn to be organized. The key is wanting to. You owe this to your child.

Copyright © 2002 by Anaxos, Inc.
Introduction Copyright © 2002 by Priscilla L. Vail, M.A.T.

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