Here are some hints on how to get your speech students to do their homework consistently.
-Write a letter to your student's parents at the first of the year introducing yourself, explaining why good speech and language is important, and that they will be expected to do homework daily. Explain how your time with the student is limited and that improvement will be minimal unless the child practices at home. Make sure the parents know what day and time their child has speech and that homework folders need to come to school on that day. Here is an example of my letter from earlier this year. You'll have to click on it to get the bigger view. The second page is some suggestions on how on speech and language at home.
-Make a speech homework folder. Here are some examples of what it could look like. I like to have the student decorate the front so they are proud of it and have some ownership in it. I've considered having the parents buy a strong folder for their child since I'm a poor SLP and can't afford to buy awesome sturdy folders for my kids. I actually got my folders this year for 1 penny each at the back to school sale at Office Depot. I bought 100 for $1.00! AMAZING!
-To get the student's and parents to do homework daily I provide them with a little daily homework tracker that I keep at the front of their speech homework folders. The students know they need to bring their folder to speech every week. See an example of the tracker sheets below. The first one is one I use with my articulation kids. The second one is one I use with my language students. The language student's tracker is more detailed because language therapy requires a lot more anectdotal information and a little more explaining to help the parent understand what they can work on at home.
-Provide rewards for doing homework weekly and EXTRA SPECIAL rewards for doing it daily. I use a sticker chart that works like this.
- 1 sticker for any homework done in the week.
- 5 stickers = a LITTLE PRIZE
- 15 stickers = a BIG PRIZE.
I like using these sticker books. They only cost a few dollars and they last a LONG time!
-Not enough? If you use games during therapy make a rule that the student is not allowed to play unless they do their homework at least once during the week. This has been a good motivator for my students. I have this rule posted on my wall. I love having things posted on the wall because you can just point to the sign and they can't argue with a sign :)