If your child’s homework routine is complicated by co-parenting, here are some sensible ideas to make homework easier to manage from Sonja Walker, teacher and director of Kids First Children’s Services in Sydney’s northern beaches.
Thousands of children live across two households every week, and if your kids are among this group, you’ll know that homework is one of the things that can cause complications if it’s not managed in a positive way.
If you and your ex share your child’s care, consistency with homework is very important.
Remember, parental conflict is difficult for kids, so try not to make homework an issue. If your child moves between households during the week, an organised approach to homework is essential.
8 tips for dealing with homework after divorce
- A ‘contract’ between parents may be necessary to organise and maintain successful homework routines and other school priorities. Check with your lawyer about how to set this up so that you and your ex can support your child in a consistent way.
- Avoid making homework a point of argument. If the two of you cannot agree on the details, seek an impartial, professional mediator to help you and your ex to come to an understanding of what will be done and when.
- Have a check list of homework items that need to go from house to house and use it at both ends to ensure that your child has everything he/she needs
- Ensure that you both have a copy of your child’s timetable. Knowing what in school and out of school activities are scheduled for the week will help you all to stay on track.
- Ask your child’s teachers to send copies of homework, assignments, notes and reports to both parents. This can often be done by email.
- Ensure that both households have stationery and other supplies needed for homework so that your child can easily transition between locations.
- Communicate with the other parent and make sure both parents are in the loop. Email often takes the heat out of difficult personal situations, so use it to take the heat out of difficult personal situations
- When discussing your child’s schooling and homework, use practical tools to keep your conversations on track. For example, having a photograph of your child on the table while you and your ex discuss their progress is a good way of keeping to the topic.
Free resources to help with co-parenting:
Child Support Agency publications – www.csa.gov.au
© 2016 Kids First Children’s Services
Concerned about your child’s homework?
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