IEP Accommodations that Will Help Parents Support Their Child at Home

9 Jul

Tears, doors slamming, pleas, and negotiations. Does this sound like homework time at your house? Homework time is stressful for many families. For those of us trying to support our exceptional children, homework time can be a downright frightening experience. With some basic parental problem-solving and a few IEP accommodations, we’ve licked the homework  problem in our house. Here’s how!

First,  I asked for accommodations to be added to my child’s IEP. I’ve asked for all of these things and have gotten most of them written into the IEP.

  • Reduced Assignments: This could mean fewer math problems, less spelling words per week, or an assignment spread out over more days.
  • Advance Written Notification of Tests: This is important for middle and high school students who have multiple teachers giving tests. A child with an LD will need more time to prepare for tests. I ask for at least 3 days advanced notice.
  • Projects Due on Mondays: I ask for this so I can be sure my child has enough time to complete the project and we can edit and revise it together. Most projects will be displayed and getting presentable quality work done is time consuming for many exceptional children.
  • Textbooks for Home: This helps for studying and homework. If your child’s notes are incomplete, you can help them fill in the blanks with the text.

Next, I set up homework guidelines that worked for our child’s emotional and physiological needs. If at first they don’t succeed, keep trying… change is hard to implement. Here’s what we did:

  • Work Before Play: We get started right away. I’ve found that my child can handle homework right after school better than if I let him take a break or do an activity first. I schedule activities for evenings or  weekends. He eats a snack while he works and homework is done in less than an hour. He then gets a well deserved break!
  • Homework is Done Where the Help is: Whoever helps our child with homework is close by and not overly occupied with other things. For example, I’m usually getting dinner ready while my child does homework. So he does his homework at the counter so I can see if he’s off task and he can ask for help.
  • Have Supplies Ready: our child is responsible for making sure we have supplies stocked up.  Also, I keep a stock of poster board around because my son has a knack for asking for poster board at 9:00 the night before it’s needed in class.
  • Ask for extra Medication: If your child’s time released meds run out by homework time, the doctor can prescribe a quick acting small dose pill just for that.
  • Review and Preview the Day and the Week: Review the day with your child (What was assigned for tonight?), then preview the next day (What do you need for tomorrow?). On Sunday, review the week (Did you get everything done this week?) and preview the next week (What do you need for this week coming up?).

Homework time does not have to be miserable. Assessing what is causing your child to break down will help you solve the problem. Is it too much work to get done in a reasonable time? Is the child exhausted? Are they unorganized? Ask and answer these questions, then implement the change that will fix the problem. I hope you find these strategies helpful. If you have ideas that have worked, please add them in a comment.

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One Response to “IEP Accommodations that Will Help Parents Support Their Child at Home”

  1. SpEd Tools August 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    These are great ideas. I’m going to definitely talk to parents about some of these accommodations, as well. Thanks for sharing!

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