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Helping families make the most of personality differences.

5 Results tagged "Homework"

Learning Styles
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TAGS: Procrastination, Class Participation, Differences, Encouragement, Homework, Learning, Problem Solving, Self-Management, Teenagers

Learning Styles – Meeting the Needs of the Student

Yvonne Nelson-Reid, B.Ed., M.A.
YVONNE NELSON-REID, B.Ed., M.A., is a mother of 5, writer, teacher, depth psychologist, and career coach. As a certified MBTI and MMTIC professional, she uses typology as a tool for helping others understand differences and communicate more effectively.
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In addition to being a parent, I am a teacher. I taught middle and high school for several years. Math and Health were the main subjects assigned to me. Everyone loved health class, as we could talk about so many topics relevant and important to the kids (the Alberta health curriculum rocks!).

Math on the other hand was always a challenge. Not every child likes math. My philosophy and mission was that math is fun and it was my job to demonstrate that to the students. Often it was the kids who struggled to understand math concepts who hated it, so how could I better help them to learn those concepts?

I developed several math games (ex: GeoGolf which taught geometry through game play), brought in cross curricular projects (ex: math poetry), and most important of all, reminded them consistently that if they were really trying and still didn't get it, that it wasn't them, it was me.

As a teacher, I firmly believe that I need to teach in a way that reaches each student. In other words, I need to teach you in the way you learn best, which means I need many tools in my math tool box to express a concept in a variety of ways. I still remember Ryan. Ryan needed extra time to complete tests. I knew many teachers at the time who enforced "when time is up it is up," regardless of whether you had finished. I could never understand this, since we were testing an understanding of the concepts and not how fast you could process the questions.

For Ryan, I gave extra time, and anyone else who might have needed it, but for him, this made the difference between passing or failing. Much of math is formulaic and laid out in a structured way. Some kids loved this and if I could give them step by step directions, they excelled.

Not Dean. He spent more time coming up with creative solutions to those same problems, finding the right answer but in a completely different way. I loved his imagination and the ingenuity of his solutions. Rather than knock him for his creative methods, I would have him explain them, at times even to the whole class, which not only gave him confidence, but also helped others who needed a different approach to aid in their understanding.


Homework was another potent topic. Why do hundreds of questions if you already get the concept? Some kids needed repetitive practice to drive home the process, whereas others got it quickly. Giving plenty of class time to complete work, allowed many students to finish before heading out to extra-curricular activities and other after school commitments.

There is a balance. If you choose to waste time in class, then time will be made up at home completing those assignments. My point in all of this is just how important it is to honor different learning styles through an understanding of personality. Some kids need to see the value in solving math problems, whereas others enjoy the analytical experience.

Formulas, step-by-step details, and facts appeal to some, whereas an imaginative approach with many possibilities excites others.

Time management is a big deal in school, especially considering the incredibly busy lives so many of our kids lead. Clearly, some kids like structure, using a planner to organize their daily activities and homework assignments, and we know many who don't. I have both in my house! I will be honest, as a planner myself, I find those kids the easiest to work with in helping them succeed in school.

Yet I do admire my more spontaneous kids who tend to take it all in stride, procrastinating until the final moment then pulling off a dynamic feat in the end. As frustrating as that can be for me, I can't help but appreciate this talent and ability. Until... their brilliance culminates and finally bursts forth a plan, only to realize that the items needed are still in the stores, which closed hours ago. Sigh... There is never a dull moment, as a parent or a teacher! Appreciate differences, appreciate differences, appreciate differences: my daily mantra.


You can learn more about the individual personality type of your kids and students by having them take the MMTIC® assessment. Get a better understanding of your own preferences by taking the MBTI® assessment.



End of school...please!
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TAGS: Guiding, Procrastination, Boundaries, Encouragement, Homework, Learning, parenting, Teenagers, Testing

End of School, End of Report Period, End of Patience

Yvonne Nelson-Reid, B.Ed., M.A.
YVONNE NELSON-REID, B.Ed., M.A., is a mother of 5, writer, teacher, depth psychologist, and career coach. As a certified MBTI and MMTIC professional, she uses typology as a tool for helping others understand differences and communicate more effectively.
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There is nothing I hate worse than seeing potential wasted. Getting that dreaded email or phone call from an exasperated teacher certainly does not help the situation. 

Our school district has an online Parent Portal where parents can log in and monitor their child?s grades throughout the year. Now with five children this can become a full-time job in and of itself, so thankfully over the years there has not been a big need in my family to utilize this site, except with one child in particular. However, at the times I have checked all has seemed in order, then wham, near the end of a reporting period and definitely year end, chaos erupts! 

Year after year this has been the pattern with my daughter. Incredibly bright and high-scoring on standardized tests, yet negligent on doing homework or worse yet, doing it and not handing it in. As much as I appreciate her rationalization that doing homework is a waste of time when she already knows the material and can ace the exams, it does not help the grades. 



So far, she has been fortunate that teachers have allowed her to hand in assignments late, bringing a grade of D up to a B, although she is more than capable of an A. The anxiety in our house on that last night before graded assignments are due goes through the roof! To her credit, she will stay up all night long and get it done, but this Mom, who prides herself on structure and getting things done on time, preferably early, goes crazy in the process.

Dad, however, gets it. He has always been a procrastinator with little desire for schedules. Dad also recognizes, however, that there are times that structure and schedules are needed, and he often learned the hard way. His patience astounds me, and I for one am grateful to have him around especially at the end of the school year! 

Our daughter is going to be a Junior in high school this year, and I fear the leniency of teachers will diminish as she heads off to school, so perhaps like her dad, she will have to learn the hard way. In the meantime, I will continue to check Parent Portal and continually remind her to complete assignments and hand them in, encouraging her to keep track of assignments and due dates, and work a little each day to stay on top of things. 

Although she naturally waits until the last minute to get things done, she can learn to do them sooner, with a lot of guidance on our end. There will likely be some tough lessons in the future. But I will say this, I do admire her ability to take things in stride and get things done, even if at the very last minute.


You can learn more about the individual personality type of your kids and students by having them take the MMTIC® assessment. Get a better understanding of your own preferences by taking the MBTI® assessment.


Timing: Type Tip #2

Use backward chaining to help perceiving-preferenced students to gauge when to begin assignments. Ask them to name the last moment they can begin and still get the work done. Consider possible interferences and let them wait to produce. One mom asked, "Wouldn't they be more comfortable if they just did their homework on Friday night? Then they would have the whole weekend worry-free.” They already have the weekend worry-free.

The younger the child the greater the chance they will underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete an assignment, especially if it is a new kind of assignment. Teach them better timing. It is not about irresponsibility. It is about timing.


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It's Their Homework Not Yours
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TAGS: Boundaries, Homework, Preparation

It's Their Homework Not Yours – How to Help Without Taking Over the Work

Elizabeth Murphy, Ed.D.
ELIZABETH MURPHY, Ed.D., is a psychologist and type expert whose research focuses on verifying the development of normal personality differences according to the theory of psychological type. She works extensively with families and teams of people to improve communication and resolve relationship needs.
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Have you endured the experience of supervising, snoopervising, and actually doing your child’s homework? I believe every parent wants the child to do the work independently but for some that habit does not seem to develop naturally. Some parents monitor every step of their child’s work, and the child learns to manipulate the system until the parent is doing more work than the child.

The best way a parent can help a child with homework is to set the stage, help with needed materials, and help with comprehension. These tasks can be accomplished by asking 3 simple questions.

1. Do you have everything you need to do your work? (supplies)

2. Do you want to get this done? Do you care about this assignment? (motivation)

3. Do you understand the assignment? Do you know what you must do? (comprehension)

Always have a procedure so the child can ask a comprehension question. They come to you. You help with the question. They return to their workspace. Getting them to move away from their workspace will help give a break and a new perspective, and it helps keep the parent from inserting themselves into the homework process longer than is needed.

When you start with those three broad questions, you teach your child how to assess the situation, how to develop potential solutions, and how to implement the most reasonable solution first. Resist any temptation to direct, take over, and lecture. If you start by telling them what they need, your brain is working, not theirs. If you get flak about the stupidity of the assignment, resist the temptation to lecture. They may say, “I don’t care about this; I don’t think I’m even going to bother doing it.” Resist the lecture.

Many parents respond with comments as “How do you think you are going to get through school? Do you think life is always going to be positive? Do you think you’re going to always get to do just what you want to do?” You are not motivating them. You are just lecturing. That won’t help the situation. You can use good listening skills by reflecting what you heard your child say. “This just seems like a silly assignment and you wish you did not have to do it. That seems like a discussion to be held with your teacher. Right now, that’s the assignment. Until it is changed it must be completed.”

When we allow the child to take leadership in getting the materials (supplies), getting on board (motivation), and checking for their understanding or calling a friend for help (comprehension), then the child is in charge of their assignment. This process leads to the greater independent processing skills they will need in the future as they become better at self-management. Sometimes good parenting with homework tasks is knowing how to set the stage and knowing when to step back.

If the child does not do the homework, ask him or her to analyze the situation and determine if he needs additional assistance with supplies, motivation, or comprehension. Failure to complete the work is not an option. Getting help with one of the three specific areas is an option.

If the student has truly been working for an hour and is having trouble, talk with them about taking a break. Some may want to continue but others will welcome a ten-minute break before returning to task.

When there is no homework due you can do a formative evaluation, and ask your child if the process is working for him or would she like to make some additional choices such as studying with friends, having music on while he works, or taking frequent breaks.

A little less snooping can be super!


Do it for Mom: Type Tip #3

if you are the parent with a judging preference and your child has a perceiving preference, it is still OK to ask them to do their homework on a Friday night but recognize they are doing it for you, not for them. You might say, "My job as your Mom is to check your homework. I cannot relax over the weekend until I get that job off my list of things to do. Please do your homework on Friday so I can enjoy the rest of the weekend." Kids can adjust their behavior to respect the type of the parent, too.


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