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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Getting Homework Done Without the Power Struggle

Oct 31, 2016 01:24PM

by Cindy Guttman 

If your after-school hours are spent negotiating with your children about getting their homework done, you are not alone. Parents everywhere are engaged in the same struggle. Before the next battle ensures, ask yourself these questions: What is this struggle doing to my children? How is this impacting our family? Can homework be accomplished without the struggle? If you realize that nothing positive is coming from this daily routine, you have become frustrated, your children are dejected and their grades are suffering, then a change needs to ensue. Take the “home” out of homework and find another strategy.  

An innovative solution to this widespread problem is offered by Homework Check-In, a new Sarasota-based company. Homework Check-In offers after-school coaching programs for students in grades kindergarten through eighth and tutoring for grades ninth through twelfth, as well as instruction in goal setting, time management and organization skills to help children overcome obstacles in completing their daily homework routine.  

Families are losing themselves to homework, and we are sure we can help, clarifies Karen Veon, one of Homework Check-In’s three co-founders. As moms, we have all been there, and we know that kids fight more with parents than with others who try to help them. This change in the ‘point person is step-one in helping to solve today’s homework crisis and build habits to eliminate it in the future. 


Positive Impact on Families 

Homework is an important component in the education process. However, many children do not possess the focus and stamina to complete homework tasks––a situation exacerbated by the constant distractions of technology.  

“We saw a need to bolster confidence in kids and relieve stress in families. We built a solution with our business that accomplishes both,” elaborates co-founder Cindy Guttman. “We have educational tools to make a difference in the child’s ability to complete homework and to reduce stress caused by daily homework challenges. We demonstrated great success with our pilot program last year. Now, it is time to expand and support more children and families who need our kind of help. 

Homework Check-In made a huge improvement in our family’s daily routine. My son spent three hours on his homework which drained the joy out of our family. The coaches brought out the skills we knew our son had, and we began to enjoy our son again,notes Alysia, a pilot program mom. “Our son completed third grade successfully, and we found peace within our home. We are so grateful to Mr. Weber, BCBA (of Behavior Care, Inc.) for recommending Homework Check-In to us. 

Another pilot program mom, Heather adds, “I was not sure where to turn when my son, already repeating first grade, needed more homework help than I could provide. The staff at Homework Check-In has been great. They worked with us through the summer, and I am optimistic about him handling the demands of second grade knowing, that we have Homework Check-In in our corner.”  


A Kid Friendly Facility 

“Helping a child learn to do homework in a physical environment that makes sense is a crucial step in setting them up for success,” explains Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Susan K. Kauffman. “Homework Check-In has successfully created an environment that’s a bridge between school and home.” This set-up is different than many traditional tutoring centers. 

The center, located on Honore Avenue is both light and airy. No desks are present––instead, students work at individual café tables to foster collaboration and create an atmosphere reminiscent of a kitchen at home, rather than a classroom.  The chairs are brightly colored and offer a flex-back for movement without tipping. There are also pillows on the floor for those who prefer to lie and high-top tables for those who prefer to stand.   


Family Friendly Schedule and Cost-Effective Pricing 

The after-school coaching program runs Monday through Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  It utilizes monthly subscriptions and does not require scheduled appointments for homework coaching sessions.  “We kept things flexible to help families accommodate their busy and ever changing schedules” said Veon of the drop-in model.  Being cost effective was another goal of the founders.  Pricing is dependent on age, student needs and contract commitment; there is no one program fits all answer 


Unique Coaching Methodology 

Coaches are the foundation of Homework Check-In’s success. They are trained to facilitate the homework process and only teach in small doses, while encouraging children to exert their best effort every day. The third co-founder Dr. Bernadette Bennett expounds, “Many centers offer students an alternate curriculum or new approach to subjects like math and reading. Instead, we developed a highly effective coaching program that teaches life skills.   

By teaching goal setting and time management, young children become equipped to successfully do the work taught and assigned to them in their classrooms––now and for years to come. We respect the education they are receiving in school, and our united goal is to coach them to be successful in managing the homework process.”   

Coaches at Homework Check-In utilize a comprehensive set of best-practices to help students study and reinforce what they are being taught in school. Sessions are infused with brain breaks, customized for each student, that bring a distracted child back to the task at-hand and support self-management of the homework process. “These breaks are short in duration but critical to the success of our students,” adds Guttman. “What we do is purposeful, and it works.  Parents who opt to end the struggle and give their kids a fresh start with homework are giving their children an amazing gift.” 

Timothy Gallway, author of the famous book The Inner Game of Tennis and many other inspiring works describes coaching as “unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.  It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them”––a philosophy we share at Homework Check-In.  

Founded in 2015, Homework Check-In is an innovative company, providing a practical approach to homework. The vision is to empower children to accomplish homework goals and, therefore, find success. The coaching model focuses on building skills and confidence to help children to thrive in the classroom, at home and in life.  

The founders believe “there is so much more to homework than academics.” Co-Founders include Sarasota locals Cindy Guttman, Karen Veon and Bernadette Bennett. The company’s Board of Advisors includes Susan K. Kauffman LMHC, Lewis H. Weber, BCBA of Behavior Care, Inc., and Brea Maday, Speech Therapist and MNRI Core Specialist of Windermere. 


Homework Check-In is a trademark of Homework Check-In in the United States and other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. For more information, call 941-921-5600, email [email protected] or visit 



Natural Awakenings of Sarasota April 2020 Digital Edition