On the Horizon – 10/15/13

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 229: A Closer Look at Homework

On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

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  • A Note from Dr. Beurkens
  • Feature Article: A Closer Look at Homework
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Resources

Hi Everyone!

It’s birthday time at our house, as my youngest son turned 10 yesterday. I am constantly amazed by how quickly time passes. We celebrated with friends, family, a basketball cake, and lots of Legos!

This week’s feature article is a new one I’ve written on the topic of homework. Because homework often creates difficulties for students with neurodevelopmental challenges, this topic comes up regularly in my work with families, when consulting in schools, and during my seminars for professionals. I felt it was time to write about it and tell you what I really think. While some may call it controversial, my stance on homework is based on what research demonstrates (or doesn’t demonstrate) about the value of this common practice. I encourage parents and professionals to question the assumption that homework is necessary and beneficial. I’ve included research citations for those of you who are interested, as well as some recommended reading if you want to get more information on this topic. Take some time to read the article and share your thoughts in the comments on our blog.

Have a fantastic week!

Looking to the horizon,


A Closer Look at Homework

By Nicole Beurkens, PhD

Teacher with studentAny parent with a school-age child is well acquainted with the trials and tribulations of homework. They can range from small irritations, like keeping track of what each child need to complete after school each day; to major issues, such as managing a child who melts down everyday after school at the thought of having to engage in one more minute of schoolwork. Managing homework assignments, especially for young children, often puts more responsibility on the parent than the child. Parents are instructed to make sure they are checking backpacks, reviewing assignments with the child, signing planners and assignments, and more. If all of this actually demonstrated increased skills in students, one could argue that these efforts are worthwhile. However, one may be surprised to discover that there is little research evidence to support the practice of assigning nightly homework to students. If that is the case, then surely children and parents could find more valuable uses of their time!

Click here to read the rest of this article…

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Upcoming Events

Hear Dr. Beurkens Speak

Upcoming dates and locations where Nicole Beurkens, PhD will be speaking:

Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies to Improve Processing

December 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY

December 10 in Albany, NY

How to Teach Independent Thinking and Problem Solving Skills to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

October 22, 2013 in Chicago, IL



Learn as we grow

This long-awaited book is written for parents and professionals who want to be more effective in their work with students who have neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

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