Homework can be one of the most painful aspects of parenting. For parents tired of being “cast in the role of nightly homework police,” Dolin addresses the pitfalls of homework in this easy-to-follow guide. She begins with an overview of why homework is so hard, especially for kids who have weak executive functions (e.g., strategizing, planning ahead, organizing, and recalling information), attention issues, reading issues, skill deficits, and emotional problems. She then follows with a look at how parenting styles affect homework and provides successful approaches that work with every child. Routine, replacing idle threats with meaningful praise, and family meetings are key, according to Dolin.
The bulk of the book centers on the six most common problem homework profiles—the Disorganized, the Rusher, the Procrastinator, the Avoider, the Inattentive, and the Easily Frustrated—with a chapter dedicated to each type of student. These chapters open with a quiz to help parents identify their child’s correct homework profile. Step-by-step tips offer practical and easily replicable strategies. Additional tips, graphs, charts, and labeled photographs, such as an image of a study zone for the Disorganized, an example of a project planning guide for the Procrastinator, and an example of a break reward log for the Inattentive make each plan clear throughout the chapters.
A concluding section focuses on improving study skills, including reading comprehension, note taking, remembering and retaining information, and studying, and discovering a student’s learning style. Dolin also tackles difficult situations that pose more challenges for homework, such as working parents with limited time, divorced parents, students who lie about homework, balancing studying with extracurricular activities, and technology distractions.
Ann Dolin comes to this book as a teacher, tutor, and parent. An expert in learning disability issues with over 20 years of teaching experience, the author is the founder of Educational Connections, Inc., which provides one-to-one instruction based on students’ learning styles, and sits on the boards of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder and the International Dyslexia Association.
For exasperated parents, this guide book is an ideal starting place for putting homework battles to rest. Dolin’s compassionate yet no-nonsense solutions can be implemented with any student. Schools and public libraries should have several copies on hand, as this title probably won’t sit on shelves for long. Homework Made Simple is sure to transform family life.