First of all, I think it would be great if we could hold parents more accountable for a child's education instead of placing all the responsibility on the teachers, however, I don't think this particular bill is realistic. I don't think that the majority of parents will agree to have their child's teacher give them a grade (especially if they can't give the teachers a grade!) But this does raise some interesting questions...
1. What is REALLY expected of parents?
2. Do parents know what is expected of them?
3. Aren't there already laws in place for truancy to hold parents accountable for tardiness and absenteeism? If so, are these realistic?
4. Do parents know how involved they should be in their child's homework? If so, do they have the skills needed to truly help their child?
When I was a nanny, I remember DREADING homework time! Getting a child to complete their homework after a long school (and work) day can be exhausting BUT it's essential for a child's success in the classroom.
Here are some tips to help get you through homework sessions...
1. ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE! Staying organized helps you be a better parent and also helps your child be more responsible. Pick a place for your child to put his or her back pack every day and make sure that YOUR CHILD (not you!) places it there every day. Depending on your child's age, have them tell you what they need to do, get their stuff out, and be accountable for their work. Check things out before sitting down with them so you can get an idea of what's ahead of you.
2. Be realistic. If your child is exhausted, hungry, or overwhelmed...take a break and get a snack. Also, be realistic about what your child can achieve and don't expect perfection.
3. Give choices. Children like having some control! Let your child decide what snack they will have or what they want to do with their free time. Allow them to create a cool spot to do their homework that they can decorate (but make sure it's within your eye sight!)
4. Stick to a schedule. Some kids do better completing their homework the second they walk in the door; others need some time to regroup. Allow your child to have a little flexibility (such as having a 10 minute extension to their free time) but stick to your guns and use a timer!
5. Give warnings and consequences (without arguments). You are the parent, you have control over this. Avoid homework battles at all costs! Do yourself a favor and make it as easy and fun as possible. If your child is being disrespectful or not listening after warnings, then give consequences without emotional exchange.
6. Get engaged. This is the tricky part. There are times when you need to engage in your child's homework and other times when you need to let them do it on their own. Deciphering between the two can be harder than climbing Mount Everest; however, if you follow your intuition and use some patience, you will be sure to do the right thing! If you are unsure or extremely frustrated, reach out to the teacher. This bill shows that teachers would rather a parent be over involved than under involved!
7. Make it fun. There are times when children do need to get to business and get their work done but remember that they ARE children and making studying fun can sometimes ease everyone's frustrations (including your own!). Kids love quizzes (especially game show style) When studying is becoming stressful, mix things up by changing rooms, having a game show, or play hangman related to the questions.