A common exhaustion point for parents is the feeling that they need to know every assignment, due dates, grades, etcetera for their child. Parents are overwhelmed with the pressure of determining the balance between enabling and giving ownership to the child with their school assignments and where to step in and assist. A great way to deal with this situation and create a balance everyone can live with is to have the child run a meeting with the parent once a week. The Homework Meeting is a great way to connect relationally and put the child in control of his own education.
An important skill a child needs to master is how to communicate with teachers, essentially how to run a meeting with an adult. This is a skill the child can practice now with the parent at home by learning to run a Homework Meeting. The meeting is a weekly commitment with parent(s), led by the student to discuss school and other activities. Mom and Dad, you may need to help your child with this process at first, but allow your child take over as soon as possible. Schedule a consistent time each week and have the time marked in everyone’s planners.
Here are the benefits and goals of Homework Meetings.
• To have a consistent and neutral time for parents and students to discuss academics, extra curricular activities, successes and challenges.
• To keep parents informed of school and social activities.
• To keep students informed of their other activities and responsibilities.
• To help students learn to advocate for themselves and learn to run a meeting with an adult.
Creating an outline for the meeting allows the child to cover all the important information and not get side tracked. The ability to have a clear agenda when speaking to adults will be very helpful in middle school, high school, and college when your child has questions or concerns with classes or course work.
Here is a sample outline for a Homework Meeting.
1. Highs and Lows of week (from both the child and parent)
Helps child to become a good speaker and a good listener.
2. What happened in school this week (quizzes, tests, projects, assignments, material covered, etc.)
The child can reference the planner, graded work, and the online grades from school.
3. What is coming up next week (things the child needs help with, materials or time needed from parents, quizzes, tests, projects, assignments, material to be covered, etc.)
Helps to lessen the last minute needs of the child when he can plan ahead.
4. Social issues (good or bad)
Provides a calm time to discuss harder topics like gossip and bullying situations.
5. Get list of activities and responsibilities the parents have for child.
The child should mark these activities and responsibilities in his planner.
6. Plan your next meeting and put in planner or calendar (child and parents).
This shows that you are both holding each other accountable to continue meeting.
During the meeting parents can reference emails and newsletters from school to make sure that both parent and child know what is coming up. This allows parents to make sure everyone is aware while also requiring the child to take responsibility for schooling in an appropriate way. For a good meeting, parents typically ask more questions rather than trying to run the meeting. It is through the child’s self-realization about poor and good work that will be the determining factor in true change and a desire to be responsible.
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint,
and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
Do you have Homework Meetings with your child? What other aspects of your child’s life do you discuss?
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick
Mom of two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.
Author of Own Your Education! A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (And Life)