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This review is from: Calmer, Easier, Happier Homework: The Revolutionary Programme That Transforms Homework (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book & found it very useful, as I have all other N. Janis-Norton's books. Generally, I'm not one for 'parenting' books, but her work is an exception as whatever tips of her I've followed over the years, I've found extremely helpful. The main idea is that parents are in charge of creating clear routines & rules in their home (Janis-Norton has various specific tips as to what this means), and providing an environment within which children / teens feel safe, have predictable boundaries, and know always what to expect.
This particular book provides a useful framework for thinking (as a parent) about homework & how to support your child (or teen) in doing their best with the least resistance. Again, the main idea that I found immensely useful is creating a predictable structure- say, 1 hour a day at a particular time that suits the family- where homework is done, even from an early age. This includes holidays and weekends (except perhaps Sundays) and becomes part of the normal, expectable routine for the family.
Janis-Norton then goes through specific areas that have to do with learning (spelling, handwriting, reading, reading comprehension, listening, thinking and many others) & offers many useful tips as to how to help children with each area. Given her education background, she really knows her stuff & I found her way of thinking so helpful in understanding how best I can help my child, what techniques to adopt, what not to do etc. Since we started using her methods for homework each day, we've seen great results in terms of cooperation & motivation- and also, in terms of our son's ability to learn and to enjoy the process. So this book is highly recommended if you want to help your child or children create a doable, realistic, commonsensical structure for homework.
One more thing to add: there were a couple of ideas I appreciated a lot. One had to do with Janis-Norton's emphasis on homework as part of the overall routine in a child's life. Screen time, outdoors time, mealtimes, bedtimes, play time / socializing----all these aspects need to be taken into account when structuring a doable routine, otherwise children won't have enough energy or time for homework. Another idea I liked had to do with how having a standard homework time each day, supervised by a parent, helps not only in educational attainment; it also helps in improving self-discipline, patience, and fighting habits such as procrastination etc.
All in all, an excellent resource for parents (and for teachers/ tutors too I would imagine).
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