Archive for the ‘Homework’ Category

HOMESCHOOLING/UNSCHOOLING: Benefits to you and your family

September 24th, 2012

You’ve heard about homeschooling and maybe you’ve wondered if your child would be better off learning out of school? Perhaps you’re fearful that if you homeschooled your child you wouldn’t have the skill to teach them, they’d miss out on socializing, or you’d be battling them to get them to do school work?

Join us for “HOMESCHOOLING/UNSCHOOLING: Benefits to you and your family” Professionals Community (IPPC) Guest Faculty Call Tuesday, September 25th. We’ll engage in a very fun and frank conversation discussing the benefits and fears of homeschooling with guest expert and IPPC Member, Michelle Barone, MA MFT DCEP.

Curious about if homeschooling/unschooling would benefit your family? Do you want to know how to decide and then get started? Homeschooling is a viable option of most families, even if you are just curious or want to understand this lifestyle.

On this call Michelle will generously share:

  • How to know if homeschooling right for your family
  • Steps to transition your child from school into homeschooling
  • Ways to de school and help you children recover natural learning
  • Common worries from families about socializing opportunities when your child is homeschooled
  • Finding and using resources on line for both you and your child
  • How to homeschool kids with special needs
  • And Michelle will share her own invaluable experience of homeschooling her now grown children, and what she has learned and shared with families she has worked with over the last 15 years.

If you have ever been curious about homeschooling, but your felt like you just didn’t have enough information, this call will be invaluable, and it’s F*R*E*E* to all IPPC members. Want to join us on this call? Click here to learn more about our supportive community and all the resources for children and families

I can’t wait to welcome you to our awesome community and for you to get to know Michelle more~ she has so many invaluable resources for homeschooling, even if you are a itty-bitty curious you will want to join us on this call! Oh yeah, if you can’t make it LIVE don’t worry, all our expert calls are recorded and you can listen 24/7.

Until we connect again, let your brilliant light SHINE,

Dr. Laura Dessauer

the “Creativity Queen”

Founder, International Parents & Professionals Community


P.S.- This call and audio recording is F-R-E-E for International Parents and Professional Community Members. Enjoy monthly parent & professional support calls, guest faculty calls with parenting and family experts, quarterly Q&A calls, instant access 24/7 to support resources, and a supportive, non-judgmental & downright awesome community of parents & professionals…all for just a few pennies per day. Click here now for all of the exciting details.


Resistance is futile, or is it?

September 5th, 2012

“Resistance is futile” Even if you have never watched a single episode of Star Trek, you may have heard this quote. It’s the message the Borg tell other alien races as they intend to assimilate them into their collective on their quest for perfection. Wow, pretty heavy stuff!

As a family, we too have a collective mentality of how we believe others should behave, and when they don’t respond accordingly it can push all of our buttons.  Children may resist our requests to do what we asked, even stuff we perceive as simple, such as a few homework problems. The feature article below provides tips and a CQ creativity activity to help you and your child navigate resistance without resorting to yelling, lecturing, and arguing.

Being a creative type I love freedom and flexibility. When I was younger I was very resistant about anything that felt like it was limiting my spontaneous creative expression.  So schedules, to do lists, and homework were all met with resistance.  It felt like another thing that needed to be done, which took time away from my creative playtime; and as a foot-dragging perfectionist I would wait until the very last minute before I started.  Yes, I would get good grades and my room would be cleaned, but it would be at the 11th hour.

I bet a few of you can relate from your own experiences, or from seeing your child “dance the resistance dance”.

Here are a few things I learned which may help you navigate your own resistance and the resistance you encounter with your child:

  1. Have a conversation: Back in the day it was often “my way or the highway” when it came to doing things such as homework and chores.  The adults made the rules and children were expected to follow the rules, period.  It created a lot of resistance in our household. Now I often see parents who overcompensate and give their child too much freedom and flexibility and then wonder why things don’t get done. So have a conversation with your child about when they want to do their homework, what chores they do, etc. Look for a win:win and test it out. If your child is successful at what you’ve agreed to, that’s great. If they are having difficulties following what they agreed to, then revisit the conversation.
  2. What are your expectations: Are they realistic, do they align with what your child is capable of, does it respect their opinion?  I recommend being flexible, yet concrete, when setting expectations. That means you and your child can work out the details and compromise how and when things get done, but you are very clear and concrete with what you’ve both agreed to.
  3. Acknowledge the anxiety/fear of getting started: If your child has high expectations, the need to do things perfectly, or they fear that they not good enough or they may be embarrassed by doing it all wrong then allow an opportunity to explore these feelings.  Sometimes parents resist acknowledging feelings because things just need to get done quickly and it feels like that will take too much time. The reality is that if you take the time to help your child identify their feelings, acknowledge and understand their point of view, and they feel heard, then it’s often easier to move on to what needs to be done.
  4. When you become angry or upset how do you respond?  Take a minute to think about your physiological response when you are upset. Does your throat get tight, your stomach churn; where do you feel it in your body?  What do others say about your behavior when you get upset? Do you repeat yourself again and again, do you lecture, get louder, leave the room frustrated, or say hurtful things?  As a child my parents would yell and I would then become more resistant and shutdown, and now as an adult when I get upset I lecture or repeat myself until I feel heard. We are all doing our human dance, and when you are aware you are of your triggers and reactions you can consciously choose to change how you respond.
  5. Open your heart with love and compassion: It’s so easy to slip into frustration when others are not doing what they “need to do” or what you asked them to do.  There are many useful tools and strategies to help children change their behaviors; however, at the core of these behaviors are often feelings around being lovable, good enough, worthy, and safe.  You can show up with love, kindness and understanding so you can help your child move through difficult feelings and negative behaviors.  Expecting a child to change their behaviors is unrealistic if you continue to respond to your child in same way. You must be willing to soften, learn, and grow together, and that can be really hard if you were not raised that way. The good news it that you can learn how to communicate in a more supportive way and help your child move through resistance.


CQ Playful Creative Activity:


Here’s an activity to help you connect with your body sensations, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors when you get upset. Create an outline of your body on piece of paper with markers. If your child is doing this activity you can trace their body outline, or else you can draw it on a piece of paper. Think of something specific that makes you upset, and allow your body to feel it.  What does it look like, where is it in your body, what color is it, what are you thinking, what are you feeling, what does your body do. Become aware of your physical and emotional response and what triggers you.  Take the time to explore and process this experience, and if your child is creating an image, use it as an opportunity to connect with an open heart and understand their experiences.


If you grew up in a household where compassion and understanding and respect was lacking and you feel like it’s really hard to communicate without being reactive, you are not alone! We have a remarkable community of parents and professionals who desire in their hearts to teach children to communicate with love and compassion.  Come join our international community as we learn, laugh, and grow together.



Do you argue over homework?

May 21st, 2012

If you and your child were fighting recently it’s likely that you were arguing about homework. It breaks my heart to hear about how homework power struggles damage a parent and child’s relationship- and how children lie, manipulate, shutdown, yell, and procrastinate over homework. The impacts to their self-esteem and your relationship are long lasting.

The truth is homework time does not need to be a battle-ground, and you can help set your child up for life-long success if you teach them how to positively communicate, and ask for support to get their needs met…

…and you don’t need to yell, threaten, lose your cool, or dread the volatile homework hour either.

Your child is amazing, smart, creative, and you can help them be successful in school and in their lives with some extra support.

Want to learn some encouraging tools to help your child manage homework headaches and worries and return peace to your home?

Join me on Tuesday, May 22nd for the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC) Support Call “Stop Homework Power Struggles: Step to minimize the homework battles and make homework time peaceful” * Don’t worry if you can’t make the call, you’ll have access to the audio recording you can listen to anytime 24/7!

On this call I’ll share:

  • Ugh, why is my child procrastinating when they could just get their homework done? You learn why some kids struggle and what you need to know to ensure you are setting your child up for success
  • By shifting this one thing you will make homework time less stressful and chaotic for everyone in your home
  • How to make homework time head-ache free with these 4 simple tips
  • Are you overcompensating for your child? I’ll share with you how you can help support your child without rescuing them, so they learn responsibility
  • Creative strategies to help you stay in your parenting authority when your child is pushing all your buttons
  • I’ll share with you the homework life saving tip that will help you keep your sanity! This alone is worth your IPPC membership
  • You’ll leave this call with lots of practical tools you can apply immediately to make the end of the school year the best one yet!


This call and audio recording is F-R-E-E for IPPC Members. This exciting International Parents and Professional Community is surprisingly affordable and includes monthly parent & professional support calls, guest faculty calls with parenting and family experts, quarterly Q&A calls, instant access 24/7 to support resources, and a supportive, non-judgmental & downright awesome community of parents & professionals…all for just a few pennies per day. Click here now for all of the exciting details


I would love to share with you tools and strategies to support your child so they can feel happier and more confident, and end homework battles for good!


Homework problems & struggles: Homework success tips

October 14th, 2011

Homework struggles?

Do you have a child who struggles with homework? Does your child have a difficult time sitting down to do their homework or organizing or remembering their assignments? You may find yourself spending lots of time trying to get them to finally attend to their homework without a daily battle, meltdown, or interruption. What’s a parent to do?

Sometimes homework struggles signify there is something more going on with your child. They may have processing or learning issues and they may become anxious or frustrated. They may have impulsivity or attention issues that make it difficult to concentrate. They may have executive functioning impairments, that may it difficult to organize, remember, or sequence information.

Every child is different, and they respond differently to the struggle they are encountering. Some children may shutdown or avoid, they may make up a bunch of excuses to delay doing homework, they may lie because they are fearful of how you may respond. They may dillydally or easily get distracted, or ask you to get them things so they can avoid doing the work. Or they may just plain forget, no matter how may times they have been told what they need to do and by when.

Here are the Creativity Queen’s recommendations to help reduce homework hassles and headaches:

1. Know your child. If you notice that your child is acting differently, struggling with academics, processing and retaining information, or organizational issues ask a professional for support. The issue may be that your child is not being disrespectful or lazy, but there is something wrong and there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. Intervention and support can help your child create academic success.

2. Set your child up for success by helping them be organized. This starts with creating systems to help your child. Start with your child’s backpack. Get colored folders to match each subject and have a place for completed homework and homework that needs to be done. Make sure your child has a calendar with all the assignments written down, and look at the calender nightly to help them breakdown larger projects into smaller action steps and add the action steps to the calendar.

3. Define where and when homework is done. Create a specific time and place each day when and where your child does their homework. Your child will know what to expect and it will reduce some of the power struggles over homework. The more responsible your child is, the less direct supervision is necessary and the more flexible you can be with time and location. Let your child know what they can do after their homework is completed, such as spend time on the computer or watch television.

4. Have a clear outline of how homework time is spent and what is expected. Some children will fly through homework so they can play video games. Or some children will be on the computer surfing the net when they say they are doing their homework. Be clear on what needs to be accomplished during that time. Some children with processing or organizational issues may need you to break it down for them, such as what subject they work on first, how many pages they need to read, and what homework they need to complete. You can write it down together and have check boxes your child checks off when each task is completed. Let your child know you will review work together before they are “done”.

4. Stay in connection with the school. If your child struggles to remember assignments or projects due and your child’s school has an online calendar of assignments print that out and use it to see if your child’s assignments match. Older children can print this for you. If your child has academic issues contact the school monthly to check on how your child is doing in school. Ask the teacher for ideas on how to best support your child.

5. Explore your options. Does your child need more support with academics at school? Consult with a professional. Your child may need to be evaluated to determine if they need an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with specific recommendations and supports that the school provides.

6. Get creative. Your child needs to find some positive ways to express their feelings around homework and their academic struggles. Art therapy is a helpful modality to help children express their feelings so they spend less time struggling and resisting homework. They can use their creativity to develop goals for the school year or create images, such as cartoons or artwork of what annoys and frustrated them, and then create solutions.

Here’s gentle reminder: please do not punish, demean, yell at, threaten children who have organizational, impulsivity, processing or learning issues. So many of these children feel like there is “something wrong” or they are “bad”. They are fearful of being picked on or being seen as “stupid” and may use negative behaviors, manipulate, lie or avoid, so they are not seen as “dumb”.  Children fear being labeled with these words and often would rather get in trouble with negative behaviors, than to be called names by their peers. Children can learn new strategies to change their behaviors and they can find positive ways to succeed at school when properly identified and supported.

If you have a child with academic issues then child therapy can help. Child therapists can rule out if the issues your child is encountering is behavioral and help your child and your family create systems to help your child with homework success. If you live the Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton area child art therapy can help your child develop system and new coping strategies to create academic success. To learn more sign-up for your complimentary child support consultation here.