6.06.2013

Homework Calendar

I know many SLPs who NEVER give homework, and only a few who give homework regularly. Despite the obvious benefits of more efficient generalization and shorter time in therapy, there seems to be too many obstacles for most SLPs to consider assigning homework a feasible and worthwhile task. Obstacles: Poor compliance, resistance from students, resistance from parents, extra work for SLP… The list goes on and on. And yet, call me overambitious and na├»ve, but I am bound and determined to implement a homework system that encourages compliance, is easy on the parents, and doesn’t create a load of extra work for me.

My plan: Send home a monthly calendar with one speedy assignment per day. The assignments will be customized for the student’s goals.

Why it is going to work:
o   Parents will be informed about the homework plan in the introductory letter at the beginning of the school year.
-   Clear and direct language in the directions on the homework calendar communicates to parents the importance of following through with assignments.
o   The homework calendar will "live" in the student's speech folder, which should "live" in the child's backpack (as per the instructions in the introductory letter, on the calendar, and in the speech folder).
o   Assignments are SHORT, easy, and fun.
-   Minimal demand and expectation should facilitate compliance.
-   Practical activities will educate parents about the types of language stimulation they can provide with minimal structure. This may enrich the quality of and increase the quantity of language stimulation at home, even outside the context of homework assignments. 
o   Reward system: Students will be incentivized to complete homework with a behavioral reward system (upon completion, at the end of each month) and social reinforcement (verbal praise for peers who regularly complete and return their homework calendar).
o   Although the calendars are personalized for each student, assignments are pulled from a "bank" of goal-specific activities, which should minimize the planning effort on the SLP's end.  
-   A printout of the activity bank will be kept under each student's tab in the planning binder. The SLP is able to mark off activities that have been previously assigned, in order to limit redundancy. 

So have I convinced you yet?! As you can tell, I'm totally excited about this. We'll see how it goes!

Get a copy of my homework calendar template and activity bank here. Please let me know if you have additional activities to add to the bank!



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