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As mentioned above, it is usually best to have the child begin with a task that they consider "easy." Some children may want to start with the hardest task first to get it over with, and this is acceptable unless the child has a very difficult time getting started and will dawdle or avoid the difficult assignment even though it was his/her choice to start with it.
For many youngsters, just getting started on homework seems like an insurmountable obstacle. We have several suggestions for handling this problem:
Have the child specify exactly when she will begin her homework and then reward her for getting to work within five minutes of the time she has specified.
Sit with your child for the first five minutes to make sure he gets off to a good start.
Talk with your child about her assignments before beginning. This is particularly important for written language assignments or more open-ended tasks. Children often need to be "primed" or activated for their best efforts to come out. This is particularly true for youngsters who may have difficulties with verbal fluency or word retrieval.
Orient your child to his assignment; walk him through the first one or two problems or items to make sure he understands what he is supposed to do.
Build in a short break relatively quickly, if getting started is a problem.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|