Plan Ahead - Arguments over homework often occur at stressful times, especially when a deadline is approaching. Pick one evening every week to preview the upcoming workload. If the week is going to be particularly stressful, determine what extracurricular activities can be skipped. Teens tend to hunker down and resist support when they're feeling overwhelmed. If this is what's happening in your household, plan a weekly meeting to work out a less hectic schedule. By planning ahead, both you and your student will be more at ease.
Stick To It - Parents often ask me how they can establish routines when their adolescent has his own schedule, friends, and social agenda. The bottom line is that parents of teens should still make the final decisions concerning academics and socializing. Parents can insist that schoolwork comes before socializing or screen time, but allow your teen to choose his homework schedule. For example, if he likes to start after dinner and is able to get it done, then fine. He's more likely to stick with a schedule if he chooses it. Establishing the "work before play" family policy (for all kids, not just your struggling student) is important. It sends the message that school is the number one priority. Enforce this policy consistently, instead of haphazardly, and your teen will adjust in time.
Use Technology - Teenagers these days are extremely tech savvy. Use their interest in everything online or interactive to provide additional support during homework time.
- Math - When your teen is resisting your help, identify key websites where he can find support. There are many resources online where students can find additional explanations of topics, problems, or concepts, as well as supplementary practice to reinforce trouble spots.