Ending the Homework Hassle


This week we asked many of you to fill out a homework survey, and we received quite a few responses. Thank you, parents, for your feedback. We are working through these responses now so we can use them to improve our academic program. Teachers plan assignments in order to accomplish curricular goals as effectively and efficiently as possible, but we often need input to get it right. 

The school has to do its part to get homework right, but parents have to work hard to get it right, too. Homework for many families is a struggle and a source of conflict and aggravation. I have a suggestion for you, parents. 

The best advice I have seen about how to help your children become independent learners who manage their assignments and homework for themselves is the book Ending the Homework Hassle by psychologist John Rosemond. Please read it!

If our school had the resources, I’d order a copy for every Regents family and send it to you today. 

Rosemond describes the nightly homework hassle for many families: it’s “The Great Homework Hunt” followed by “Parenting by Helicopter” and the child’s act of “Duh, I’m Dumb,” culminating in “The Homework Marathon” and ultimately “We’re a Bunch of Bananas,” during which both parents and child have meltdowns and wail in frustration and fury. What can end the frustration and put a stop to the hassle? It’s up to the parents, writes Rosemond, to “stop being responsible for Billy’s homework and let Billy be responsible for it on his lonesome,” to go from being a “parent-participant” to being a “parent-consultant.” In fact, the child’s responsibility is the first of the Seven Hidden Values of Homework. The others include autonomyperseverancetime managementinitiativeself-reliance, and resourcefulness. Don’t you want your children to embody these values as personal virtues?

With humor, insight, and realism, Rosemond helps parents think through both how to put an end to homework as a titanic struggle, a “never-ending, self-defeating, viciously circular trap,” and also to instill in your children the virtues needed to grow into independent learners.

But the author makes one thing quite clear: it’s up to parents to make the changes that are needed and to set the priorities in the home. Every parent can gain wisdom from John Rosemond’s book, and it’s well worth the time and effort to read it and put its principles into practice. I highly recommend it.

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