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Not Enough Homework

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My 11-year-old daughter is in fifth grade. She has always struggled with school and after repeated meetings with her school, we finally got her into special reading and math programs. That's fine, but she is still not getting homework every night and we have asked that she receive homework assignments several times. I still don't feel like she's getting the help she needs.

A: If you've been meeting with only your daughter's teachers, ask for a conference and include her teachers, counselor, and principal. Explain what you feel will help her be more successful (homework) and ask why this is not being done. There may be valid reasons why the teachers haven't been sending it -- perhaps they worry about her frustration level, or feel that she works enough during the school day. If they still don't want to send homework, ask for a supplemental workbook or recommendations for software that you can use to work with her each night on the skills that she needs.

If your daughter is in a special program that requires an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or a 504 Plan, ask that the plan be reviewed and updated at your conference. Make sure that issues that you feel are important, such as homework, are included in the plan -- this will ensure that those issues will be addressed.

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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


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