Homework Contracts: Helping children achieve their goals

Are you looking for ways to help your child with his or her school work without feeling like you’re policing them? A homework contract is a written agreement between a child and his or her parent(s) that outlines the child’s goals in relation to school, and details how they expect to achieve them through studying at home.

At Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space, we have found homework contracts to be most effective when they include the following details:
• Goals for all major subjects (e.g. I want a Level 3 in Math)
• Weekly schedule for homework that includes set times of study
• Scheduled short breaks (5-15 minutes) that are active (e.g. short walk outside)
• Designated work spaces free from clutter and distraction (e.g. away from the TV!)
Once your contract is underway, there are a few things to keep in mind:

The time scheduled for homework should be adhered to as closely as possible. If between 6 and 7 is scheduled for math, and your child finishes his assignment at 6:30, the time is not up- it should be used for further review or practice games. If they know that they will be working for the duration of the hour, children will not feel the need to rush through assignments.

Homework contracts are not for every child, so you need to gauge your child’s maturity level when broaching the subject. However, students that have trouble with organization, procrastination, or motivation can benefit immensely from structure, as well as the independence and confidence that comes from setting and achieving personal goals.

For more information about homework contracts and individualized learning plans, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space (416) 925-1225 or visit http://www.ruthrumack.com.

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