What to do when your child fails to bring homework assignments home.
Keep this in mind: Your child must learn to bring home and complete all homework assignments. Accept no excuses.
From time to time your child may forget to bring home books or homework assignments. But when your child continually fails to bring home assigned homework or the books and materials with which to complete assignments, then you must take action.
- State clearly that you expect all homework assignments to be brought home.
Tell your child, “I expect you to bring home all your assigned work and all the books and materials you need to complete your assignments. If you finish you homework at school, I expect you to bring it home so that I can see it.”
- Have the teacher send you daily updates on assigned homework.
Students should be writing all homework assignments down on a weekly assignment sheet. Ask your child’s teacher to check and sign the assignment sheet at the end of each class. When your child completes the assignments, you sign the sheet and have your child return it to the teacher.
- Give your child praise and support when all homework assignments are brought home.
Make sure that your child knows that you appreciate it every time he or she brings home all homework assignments. “It’s great to see you remembering to bring home all of your homework. I knew you could do it.”
- Set up Required Homework Time.
If your child still fails to bring home assignments, he or she may be avoiding homework time to spend time with friends or to watch TV. Required Homework Time eliminates the advantages of forgetting homework. Required Homework Time means that child must use the entire scheduled Daily Homework Time for homework or other academic activities whether homework is brought home or not. If an hour and a half is allotted each night (6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) for homework then the entire hour must be spent on homework. If homework papers or the books and materials to complete assignments are not brought home, the entire time must be spent on other academic work such as reading or reviewing textbooks or class notes. When your child learns that forgotten homework means no free time, he or she will soon remember to bring assignments and materials home.
- Use a Homework Contract to provide additional incentive.
A Homework Contract is an agreement between you and your child that states: “When you do your homework, you will earn a reward.” For example, “Each day that you bring home your homework and complete it during Daily Homework Time, you will earn one point. When you have earned ten points, you may earn a special privilege.”
- If all else fails, work with the teacher to follow through at school when homework is not completed.
If your child continues to forget homework, phone or meet with the teacher to discuss appropriate follow-through at school. Loss of lunch break or remaining after school for detention will let your child know that you and the school are working together to ensure that he or she behaves responsibly.
From “Teaching Responsible Homework Habits” by Lee Canter & Associates.