Home' Capricornus Quarterly : September 2011 Contents Homework time and your child
Homework can be a source of con ict and tears toward the end of long day, especially among
younger Primary students. Good study habits started young, however, can help reduce tension
around homework time for years to come. Whilst every child and household are different, the
following hints are largely applicable to carers and parents of children of all ages:
• Develop and maintain open communi-
cations with the teacher(s). RGS
teachers will talk to you about their
expectations, your expectations and
what can be expected of your son or
daughter. Make regular appointments,
especially if you feel something is
not working out well or if your child is
ready for the next challenge;
• Structure a set time and place to do
homework. It can be hard to do with
after-school activities and obligations,
so be prepared to be exible, but a
designated time and place is best,
preferably not right after school. Even
if there is no homework scheduled for
that afternoon, have your child work on
an upcoming assignment or just read
during the designated time;
• Have all the siblings do their homework
at the same time;
• Work in a well-lit space around a table
or desk that is comfortable;
• Turn off the TV. Pull the earplugs out of
their ears. You want a quiet and calm
environment. Background music, way
in the background, can be helpful to
• If there is a lot of homework one
night, break it up into portions and
allow breaks (no TV or video games,
• Give plenty of praise and take notice
of even small efforts; be close by and
available to help;
• Show an interest in your child's work
by asking him or her about it and
discussing it; and
• Don't do the homework for your child.
At-home assignments are designed
to help your child develop character
(a good work ethic, independence,
discipline and responsibility) as well as
Are some children just doing too much?
The hurried child syndrome by Michael Grose at w w w.parentingideas.com.au
Earlier this year NSW Community Services
Minister Pru Goward released a fact sheet on
family fatigue. It seems that children who can
sing, excel at sport and play a musical instrument
may be accomplished but they can drive their
parents mad in the meantime.
Modern parents are busy parents and so are
their kids. High parental involvement is to be
applauded but it can leave parents and kids exhausted.
The rise in childhood anxiety as reported by educators and health
professionals indicates that the push for early success comes at a
cost to children's mental health and well-being.
Most research suggests that parents should take a balanced
approach to child-rearing and make sure that kids have suf cient
time to be kids. One or two organised after school activities a day
maximum, and make sure kids have at least 60 minutes of free time
each day. And kids need at least one day from after school activities
off during the week.
It's easy to forget that unstructured play has huge value in terms of
stress relief, learning and stimulating kids' imaginations. Kids don't
always have to be engaged in productive activities to learn.
Kids are raised in an increasingly competitive environment, with
parents keen to maximise their kids' potential. This "hurried child'
syndrome is a modern phenomenon, but being too busy can be
counter-productive on many fronts including impacting on family life,
kids' well-being and even at times on their learning.
About the author
Michael Grose is the author of numerous parenting books. His
columns appear in newspapers and magazines across Australia.
He's a Channel 9 Today Sho w parenting expert and has a regular
segment on ABC Radio Victoria. He holds a Master of Educational
Studies and has conducted over 1,500 parenting seminars over the
last two decades.
internal motivation by giving them a
feeling of independence and opening up
Many young people at this stage of their
development, stresses Reniece Carter,
are also better at problem solving and
pursuing multiple goals than they were in
"What is particularly important in the
upper years," advises Arthur Kelly, Deputy
Headmaster and Head of the Middle
School, "is to discuss with your child and
the School ways in which curriculum
can be linked to the student's immediate
interests and world events as well as his or
her perceived long term goals."
"That interaction over a few years is
Involvement, of course, can and will take
many forms. It varies from family to family,
situation to situation and year to year.
"Ultimately, when parents show a
consistent and active interest in their
child's education it has a positive effect on
academic outcomes and a general success
at School," concluded Mr Kelly.
The author is an RGS staff member and a parent of
three RGS students.
LEGO Mini gures are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2011 The LEGO Group.
© 2011 Michael Grose Presentations Pty Ltd
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