Parents have asked us why homework takes their child 2, 3 and even 4 times longer than their peers and what they can do about it. This article defines the 3 key issues and what parents can do about it. Student’s key issues often include:

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1-Paying Attention is a major problem, both in and out of class, while doing homework

2- They often have one or more issues with their vision-often these student’s eyes are either: not working well together; skipping words/lines while reading; or they have a very difficult time copying what ion the board in front of them.

3- They become anxious when doing homework and often may have a small meltdown.

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When a student has trouble paying attention in class, they often must be re-taught the information at home. What makes matters worse is that the students homework time which should have taken 45 minutes gets stretched to 1 and ½ hours due to re-teaching, and then to over 2 hours because they cannot stay focused.

Vision issues impact their homework in several ways:

1- They have trouble copying the notes off the board correctly and you spend time trying to understand the assignment.

2- They skip words or lines when reading, further complicating life.

3- When they do math problems they do not often align their work correctly, they miss minus and division signs so they make careless errors.

Students often get tense when doing homework and battles often follow. What often happens is:

Students are too intimidated to ask questions in class and they simply get stuck

The student or parent gets angry and then …

An argument starts which often escalates into a huge battle of wills, sound familiar?

Recommendations for Parents:

*Stay Calm when doing homework with your child.

*If your child is getting stressed, give them a 5 minute break or longer if necessary.

*Water, Water and more water. Hydration is important before, during, and after homework.

* When reading, use an index finger to keep them in a straight line.

*If the attention is a significant issue, consider getting an ADHD diagnosis-if they have a learning disability or attention issues significantly impact their academic performance, the student could qualify for an individualized Education Plan and they could get accommodations for homework, including : Getting copies of notes(either provided by the teacher, another student, or scribed by a pare-educator.

-Seating by the teacher up front to improve attention.

-Having the teacher check to make sure the student understands the written assignment correctly.

-Having you, the parent, sign that they completed the assignment and putting in in a place they can find it.

-An early warning system, where the teacher alerts you to various concerns and complications or challenges early on.

If vision is a major issue, seen an optometrist to get your child’s eyes checked, even if they have perfect 20/20 vision.