Back to the (dreaded?) Homework Routine

With back to school schedules on everyone’s mind, it’s difficult not to think about the, often dreaded, homework discussion. For some parents, it’s like pulling teeth to get their child to settle in and just get it done, especially after reality strikes that a fun filled summer vacation is officially over. Below is a compiled list of strategies and suggestions to ensure homework success.

  • Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies, paper, pencils, glue, scissors, etc., within reach.
  • Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
  • Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there’s an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)
  • Make sure kids do their own work. They won’t learn if they don’t think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it’s a kid’s job to do the learning.

For the full list of helpful homework tips, visit: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/homework.html.

BUT!…What happens if the battle to begin homework has nothing to do with not wanting to do it because he or she is engrossed in play and more to do with frustrations due to a potential undiagnosed vision problem?

According to the American Optometric Association, up to 80% of a child’s learning in school is through vision. One in ten children has a vision problem significant enough to impact learning; that means over 5 million children in the U.S. alone. “20/20” only means that a child can see at a distance, but may lacks skills needed for learning such as tracking, coordinating, and focusing. Typical vision screenings can miss up to 50 percent of vision problems. Aren’t those incredible statistics shared on covd.org?

If your child is having trouble focusing on the assignment or the examples written on the board or directly in front of them, then homework will, of course, be strenuous! Weekly homework builds upon what is taught in school, so can you see how this might become a very unfortunate cycle?

To read a happy ending to the homework dilemma from a REAL family visit: http://news.cision.com/college-of-optometrists-in-vision-development/r/children-s-vision—learning-month–texas-mother-shares-how-she-put-an-end-to-homework-battles,c978716.

As always, if your child is struggling with homework, at school, or in sports, we’d be happy to schedule an evaluation.

Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day Weekend,

Meredith, Vision Therapist

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