Dealing with homework

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By The Staff

This week we look at Asset #23, homework. According to the search Institute, “Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they report doing at least one hour of homework every school day.” Homework is also one of the five Commitments to Learning Assets.

My first reaction to the word homework is help! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is usually fussed about far longer than the time it actually takes to do it.

I’m always a believer in the fact that the view you have is based on how you frame it. So let’s take a look for that silver lining.

Okay, so the silver lining might actually be the grayer, more charcoal color behind the silver lining, but I digress. When last we spoke on this topic, I suggested a cozy location, quills at the ready and a stash of gum to entice.

This time around, I’m older and hopefully wiser and to be honest, I’ve just decided to look at homework through a youth frame. Now what if we decided to look at the adult version of homework as housework?

Aha…a light bulb moment! If my homework for the day was housework, my response might actually be similar to that of the youth.

I would have to confess that I probably complain about housework just as much as a young person complains about doing homework. So as a parent, I can now sympathize with the student on a daily basis.

What else can I do to help? I can be a sympathetic ear without overindulging the gripe. I can help by encouraging a long range look at the weekly schedule and how to arrange the time accordingly.

If you have someone not completing all of their homework, require that you see every page and arrange with the teacher that an adult initiate papers.

Many young students don’t have an hour of homework each night, but if you can learn anything from me, require nightly reading or find math games on-line while the students are still young. You’ll only be setting yourself up for success because it then becomes routine for them, which in the long run will make life much easier for you. If you don’t believe me, run the idea past a friend who has children in an upper grade where daily homework has become a chore, especially when it gets combined with sports, scouts or a variety of other things that pull at a family as kids get older.

Sometimes your child can be the educator, too. Take a moment to ask them what makes their homework environment helpful. While we might dislike background noise, music might be the thing that works for them.

Our Asset Builder of the week requires that I put on my mom hat. This week, the Los Alamos Middle School Hawks football team played their game on the Los Alamos High School football field. While the big field, wonderful bleachers, LANB scoreboard and concessions would have been more than enough, Athletic Director Vickie Nelms actually called the game over the public address system. If that wasn’t the cream on the sundae, more than a dozen Hilltopper players turned out to support the young Hawks in their quest for victory.

So, good on you Hilltoppers, as the community turns out to support you during Homecoming and throughout the season, there will be some added support in the hearts of the fans.

Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets in Action Coordinator for Los Alamos. Her work is supported by the Juvenile Justice Advisory board and Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. If you’d like to learn more or nominate an Asset Builder of the week, call 661-4846.