The Homework Doc

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Working with children who have been on-line for a year and watching them transition into the regular classroom, I have witnessed some new challenges for parents.

During Covid on-line instruction, parents were pulled into the learning environment more than ever before. Children who were somewhat independent prior to on-line are now demonstrating increased dependence on their parents as they transition back into the classroom. This dependence will affect their attention in the classroom during instruction if new home rules are not established. It’s the perfect time to inform children that now that they are back in the classroom, the parents’ roles will change.

Years ago we were noticing a sharp decline in attentiveness school wide. When we discussed the observation with other teachers in different schools and districts it became clear that it was a growing trend.

Some teachers blamed it on Sesame Street that entertained children. Other’s blamed it on the other programs and cartoons that were increasing in speed. The old television programs like Sheriff John, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers and Hobo Kelly were slow moving programs. Today’s children would be put to sleep by them, but they were great for the 60’s children.

One day in 1984, I discovered another reason during instruction in my second grade classroom. Suzy was playing with something in her desk while I was going over the homework. I stopped to point out to the entire class that paying attention during instruction would make the homework much easier to complete. Suzy continued to play. It was clear she was lost, but the bait of the homework being easier wasn’t enough to elicit her attention. When asked why she wasn’t listening, since it would help that evening, she replied, “That’s okay. My mom will help me.”

That was an “Aha” moment for me. I was seeking an answer to why children weren’t listening, and Suzy answered it. To this day, I thank Suzy, because it was the empowering moment when I realized that to motivate children to listen, I had to help their parents shift the way they were providing help. There was no reason for her to listen when she got lost because she would get help. In many situations, her mother gave her the answers out of frustration. This “Aha” moment is applicable to today’s current situation and punctuates the need for parents to shift their current role to one that empowers their children to regain their independence by not helping with homework.

My passion in life is to empower children to find their infinite ability to get their own needs met without the help of their parents. But, that requires the parents to shift from the problem solvers to problem solving coaches. We need to front load our children with strategies so we can accomplish this.

“This is easier than I thought and so much more fun,” is the most common comment I get from parents once they pull themselves out of doing instruction with their children and learn how to make the shift by using approaches different from what they had done in the past. 

I am here to offer support. Often the coaching solution is just a shift in the words we use and our own mindsets.

Next time your children ask for help with homework, empower them and their teachers with the questions that will eventually help them solve all challenges themselves. Check out my FREE course on-line today about how to help your children overcome their fear of asking questions. The ebook is FREE for a limited time. It will change your life and the life of your children. It will empower the teacher with information that will directly improve your children’s understanding during instruction.


Join my FREE Zoom beginning Friday October 15 th at 10:00 am every Friday for FREE coaching!

Victoria Olivadoti is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Dealing With Homework Drama
Time: Oct 1, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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