Handing in Homework Assignments
Years ago, before my son was diagnosed with ADHD, I was sure he was the only child that completed his homework each night but hardly ever received credit for it. The homework papers just never seemed to make it to the classroom and to the teacher.
Often I would find homework in places around the house, in the bread drawer, under beds, in the bathroom or shoved down the bottom of a schoolbag. But the one place the homework never seemed to end up was in the hands of the teacher.
I couldn't understand it. I didn't know anything about ADHD or the symptoms related to it. I had heard about it (mostly on the news where they were talking about drugging children), but didn't understand what it was or what it meant. So I just simply didn't understand what was going on. My son could do the work, that wasn't the problem, he had mastered the concepts, learned the lessons, completed homework, but still, he was not doing well in school. Mostly, it came down to him not handing in his work.
He was diagnosed when he was in middle school. As I learned about ADHD, I learned ways to help him, some worked and some did not. Some worked for a short time and then fell by the wayside.
As a parent, my job was to be creative, finding strategies to help him that didn't make him feel as if he was not as good as other kids or that he was not a "baby" still needing intervention when his classmates were managing on their own. Systems put into place needed to encourage rather than discourage. It is a balancing act and one that can frustrate parents, teachers and the children.
Below are suggestions for parents to institute in their homes to help their children hand in homework. Some of these are better for younger children and will not be effective for older children, look through the suggestions to decide what might work for your child, if one does not work, try something else.
1) Talk to your child's teacher and ask if they can provide assignments in writing, use a website or a phone line with a list of assignments you can check once your child is at home.
2) Ask the teacher about setting up a "homework buddy" system where children exchange phone numbers and can call if they miss an assignment or are absent from school in order to find out the assignment.
3) Color code books, binders or folders to clearly indicate to your child what they may need to bring home from school in order to complete assignments.
4) Create a place by the front door (or whatever door you use to leave the house each morning) where all assignments go as soon as they are completed. This way your child will be able to take all papers needing to be returned to school without searching through the house to find them.
5) Discuss the possibility of emailing completed assignments to the teacher rather than handing individual papers in.
6) Have your child use a homework folder to keep all papers that must be turned in.
7) Have your child get into a routine of packing up all papers and books for school at the end of homework time to eliminate papers being lost once it has been completed.
8) Create a communication system with the teacher to make you aware of any missing assignments immediately.
9) For larger projects, use a folder to create all papers and notes needed to complete the project.
10) Use motivational games to provide positive reinforcement when your child does hand in assignments.
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