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Homework Woes: From Weeping to Writing

Does your first grader have homework? Mine sure does, and every week, on Fridays, she is quizzed over vocabulary words, spelling words and, high frequency words. For a full time working mother of 3, getting homework done plus studying was driving me crazy, and oftentimes, leaving her unprepared. About two months into the school year after just moving to Miami from Dallas, I decided that I needed to do something...anything to get this under control!

I sought out professional guidance after meeting an educational specialist, whose son was also in my daughter's first grade class at her new school. After getting to know Dr. Ortiz, and then telling her about my problem, she offered her consultative services to me. I accepted and, she put together a plan for "healthier homework habits". In one word, Dr. Ortiz told me what we needed at home: "structure". "Structure?" I thought, and pushed her to explain more.

Dr. Ortiz created a detailed plan that she explained to me in person and helped me implement in my home (it was worth every penny!). This plan was new to our family, but after adjusting our poor homework habits and sticking to the plan, it actually worked! We started using the plan with my other child too, and we have seen an improvement in his homework and quizzes!

For our readers, I have taken Dr. Ortiz's detailed plan and simplified it to five simple things that needed to change and be put in place so that we could get homework and studying responsibilities taken care of every week. Here there are for you:

1. Create a quiet and clean area to complete homework.

2. Each Monday, make a visual list of all important words that will be put on a common area of the house that your student will see and that you can reference for practice (at breakfast or dinner time for example).

3. Have your student do the homework independently first. Then, you check it, but do not who

her how to re-do it. Instead, just tell your student which ones were incorrect and give the child a chance to re-do it. (Of course, if after the second or third time, the student clearly needs to be retaught and shown how to attach the question or task).

4. Simulate (recreate) the quiz Thursday night.

5. Praise your child for his or her hard work and stay positive no matter what.

My 1st grader has come a long way since September!

Even as a teacher, I needed help to get our problem fixed and I am so glad that I found Dr. Ortiz and AzulEd. because not only has it helped our homework habits become healthier, it has allowed me to make a new friend, colleague and share my passion for education and parenting with our clients and readers!

My daughter is not writing perfectly now, nonetheless seven months after our putting the plan into place, she has come a long way independently writing letters to her grandparents in Dallas Texas!

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