Procrastination creates stress at school and at home. Occasional delays happen, but when it becomes a pattern, it can be fueled by an underlying issue. Have you considered that procrastination maybe is not laziness? Sometimes, children refuse to study or do homework to mask their lack of confidence or anxiety of failing to complete a task. Perhaps, procrastination is masking the lack of study skills or a learning difficulty.

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Parents are usually stressed with children procrastinating their assignments which usually lead to last minute wars. If you are dealing with this stressful situation, you should give a try to my homework planning on this past post, or even start understand about the homework issue reading this other one. If sticking to a plan consistently have not worked, you should consider that there is an underlying issue (read this article).

Have you considered that maybe your child is avoiding to complete an assignment to mask a difficulty, an anxiety, or perhaps he or she does not have the organizational skill to start it?

I usually study or work on my computer beside my children while they are doing their homework. In this way, I can observe how they are developing their study skills and notice what they are struggling with. When I see my child giving me the runaround, I start to pay attention to what is really going on. I usually think that something smells fishy here! It can be one math step that my son is not confident or does not know how even to start it! With over 20 years of experience as an educator and a curriculum developer, I can identify in different subjects (reading, writing, science, math, or social studies) where usually is the gap. I can analyze if my son just needs a structured sentence to start the flow, or if he needs a graphic organizer to plan the entire sentence, or even if he needs to start over: ok, so what is an atomic theory? However, I see how parents struggle to identify what the underlying difficulty is, or even teachers don’t have the time to pay meticulous attention to it.

Looking for resources to use at home, I want to share that I started to use this website, IXL. It is a paid membership subscription but in my case it worth it every dollar. (No, IXL is not paying me for this post). I like IXL because it runs a diagnosis and set up skills that the child needs to master in each subject (identifying underlying concepts that maybe he or she did not learn yet to finish the homework). Another essential feature is that the website is organized by subjects, separated in ease to identify themes and contents, so I don’t waste time looking for the content that I want my child master before homework. One more feature that I like is that when the child gets a wrong answer, the website shows exactly what was the mistake, and how to get correct it next time. Many times, my son and I went over it to notice what was step that he didn’t understand yet.

If you want to try different resources (some free!) look at this article. The take away from today is to pay close attention: maybe your child procrastination is a form to ask for help.

Don’t assume that procrastination is laziness: look for the right resources that will help you help your child. Maybe your child needs study skills, maybe he or she needs help to grasp a math step, a science concept, or he or she needs develop writing skills. Set up an appointment, I can help you.

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