Thanks to Natasha for hosting this stop on my back-to-school book tour! I thought talking about how to make homework more serene in your house would be a perfect topic for Serenity You. I know that I struggled with this heavily with my daughter until I implemented some of the personality type techniques that I found in my research with great success, so I’ve added them to my book. I’ve listed a few below. I hope you find success with them in your house, as well!
The first thing to look at when thinking about homework is whether your child is more of an extravert or an introvert. Extraverted kids get their energy from being around people—the more the better. Introverted people get their energy from reflection and find their energy draining as they are around an increasing number of people. If you’ve got an extraverted child—like me—be sure to let her talk to you about her homework beforesending her into the solo zone to do her homework. This helps her to think out loud which helps extraverted children better process information.  If she’s got a paper to write, be sure to encourage her to read it aloud after she’s typed it up to make sure it sounds the way she thought it did while she typed it up. If you’ve got an introverted child—like I was as a child—do the opposite. Let him do homework first and then talk to him about his assignments and how he tackled them. This honors the introvert’s preference to reflect first, then discuss, then reflect again.

The second thing to look at when thinking about homework is whether your child is more of a judger or perceiver. Judgers are the slow-and-steady-wins the race “tortoises” of the world who prefer to focus on the destination, while perceivers are the sprint-to-the-finish-line “hares” of the world who delight in spontaneity. While judgers are great at prior planning in order to prevent poor performance, they will have a hard time if something in their plans goes awry. Instead of needing help at the beginning phases of a long-term project, they will most need your help if research is taking longer than anticipated or if there is another kind of time hiccup in order to adjust their plans. Perceivers, on the other hand, have a tendency to leave everything to the last minute because putting things down on paper seems too final. For this reason, it’s important to sit down with them when a long-term project or paper is first assigned and help them determine interim deadlines for assignments such as research complete, first draft, edits done, teacher preview, final draft. Even if the teacher doesn’t enforce these deadlines, make sure you do at home. In both cases, you’ll be helping your child develop strategies that they can use when they head off into college or career that honor their personalities, but that strengthen the challenges that go hand-in-hand with their learning personality type.

Jen Lilienstein is the Founder of and author of the award-winning book, A Parent’s Playbook for Learning, which can be purchased in paperback or ebook formats on,, iTunes, or in bookstores nationwide.

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