Ep. 94: Back to School: Key Principles of Homework with Josh Horwatt

Aug 16, 2022 | 0 comments

Many argue that homework is not all that important in the grand scheme of things. Research actually shows that it has little to no beneficial effect on learning. But of course the independence and organization of schoolwork at home is absolutely helpful in building habits, and it is important to practice skills learned. But for many kids who think and learn differently, homework can be a struggle, and my guest today says it is not worth sacrificing important family time and certainly not your relationship with your child.

Josh Horwatt is an educational therapist and founder of Beyond Bored Educational Services. In addition to working with kids through Beyond Bored, he is also a dad who has experienced homework from the parent’s point of view as well. Listen as Josh gives some great pointers on how to manage homework and as he reminds us that it’s not always a big deal. “It’s just homework.”


Show Notes:

[2:39] – Back to school can be exciting, but it is also a return to homework. Most students do not have a positive feeling about homework.

[3:32] – After experiencing a 6 to 7 hour school day, students then complete more schoolwork at home in the form of homework.

[4:42] – Students are at different stages; homework means something different and is more or less important depending on where they are.

[6:09] – The type of homework has different levels of priority.

[8:16] – Josh shares his approach to homework with his own kids and students.

[9:35] – Setting a time limit for homework is a great strategy as well. The younger the student, the shorter the amount of time.

[11:32] – Homework helps to develop work ethic and independence; it is not used to  learn new skills.

[12:38] – Some parents have a lot of hang-ups about homework. It’s okay if it’s not done. Most teachers are very reasonable.

[13:45] – Some parents are intense about the details regarding homework and that can put strain on the parent-child relationship.

[15:38] – If a learner did their homework incorrectly, don’t make them go back and redo it. Make note of it and reach out to the teacher.

[17:37] – Ask your child what help they need with their homework. This teaches them to reflect.

[19:24] – A lot of parents have their own negative relationship with homework and may be repeating a lot of the things they experienced.

[20:52] – Teachers receive the end result of homework, but don't know the strain and help that the student might have needed to complete it.

[22:01] – Communication with teachers is so important.

[23:34] – With neurodivergent students, homework comes on top of the work they do with educational therapists or outside therapists.

[25:01] – Educators need to be cognizant of the homework load they’re putting on students who have a lot on their plate already.

[27:15] – If you can model to a family how to complete homework, it’s worth it.

[28:35] – Working with your own child is different from them working with a tutor or teacher. That’s okay.

[29:47] – Josh describes a personal experience of working with a challenging student and what he learned from working with him.

[31:28] – Tutoring is academic, but connection is the ultimate goal.

[33:19] – Take it slowly. Remember that there are stages. In the beginning, kids are going to be diligent, but their motivation may slide as time goes on.


About Our Guest:

Josh Horwatt is an educational therapist and founder of Beyond Bored Educational Services. He specializes in working with kids with dyslexia and kids who are highly resistant to intervention. Beyond Bored provides specialized tutoring for kids who are bored and detached from school using an approach called “Connection Tutoring.” Josh is a father of 3 children and says he is a bad but avid surfer. 


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.