Homework Hassle

WSVN — We’re just a few weeks into the school year and a lot of families are already complaining about homework. 7’s Lynn Martinez helps us avoid the homework hassle in today’s Parent to Parent.

Cristina is helping her daughter Isabel get through her homework. It can be a very frustrating time for the 8-year-old and her mom.

Cristina del Valle: “Last year she had some days of two hours of homework, which is ridiculous in second grade.”

Cristina admits at times tempers would rise.

“Sometimes. I’d take out my frustration on her I’d be like, ‘Just do your homework,’ and you don’t want to be, you don’t want to be the crazy mother.”

Dr. Jeffrey Brosco at the University of Miami says it’s a common complaint among families.

UM Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Dr. Jeffrey Brosco: “Many parents worry about homework, is it too much? Are they doing the right thing? It really becomes a battle for families and that’s really too bad, because it doesn’t have to.”

Plus he says homework can help kids learn to be independent.

Dr. Jeffrey Brosco: “They can learn how to finish something, feel like they’ve accomplished something, they can learn organization.”

He came up with three simple rules to help manage the homework hassle.

Number one: It’s your child’s homework, not yours!

Dr. Jeffrey Brosco: “If they don’t do it correctly, that’s actually important for teachers to know.”

Rule two: Set up guidelines, so your child wants to get their homework done.

Dr. Jeffrey Brosco: “So, for example no electronics til you’ve finished your homework.”

And number three: Show them why learning is important and fun.

Dr. Jeffrey Brosco: “Some kids are really interested in sports, so you could show them how the math they’re learning is related to sports statistics.”

Isabel really likes science, so her mom let’s her do experiments.

Isabel del Valle McGuinness: “Science is just really fun, because I get to mix things together.”

This year, her mom is trying to balance homework and play time so both of them don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Cristina del Valle: “You overburden them and then crush this enthusiasm they may have had to learn and to grow.”

Lynn Martinez: Dr. Brosco says don’t let homework take up the entire evening together. Take time for fun activities and some relaxation.