Benjamin Franklin once said that the only things that are certain in life are death, taxes, and homework. Okay, maybe he didn’t say homework, but for our young learners, it is definitely a fact of life. And as a parent, you want to do everything you can to make sure your child is successful in his or her studies. In turn, because we want to support you in every way we can, we’ve consulted teachers and various online resources, such as KidsHealth, Scholastic, and the U.S. Department of Education, to come up with some tips for helping with homework:
- Set a specific time for homework. We often speak about how routines are key to a child’s success, and when it comes to homework, that concept applies. But while it is helpful to have a homework schedule, the timing of it depends on your child. Does your child work better right after school or is it best for him or her to take a break and wind down first? Also, if your child gets frustrated easily or has a lot of work to do, help him or her break it down into more manageable chunks with breaks in between.
- Find out what the homework is. Of course you can always ask your child, but we have a few other suggestions as well. With the widespread use of technology, many teachers have websites where they post the daily homework. If your child is a little older, you can buy him or her a planner and require that he or she write down the assignments every day. If your child needs a little encouragement to do so, ask if the teacher would be willing to check and initial the planner every time homework is given.
- Create a designated, distraction-free homework space. Whether it be the kitchen table or the desk in a bedroom, make sure that your child has somewhere free from the distraction of television, video games, and other siblings. Also make sure that your child has everything he or she needs for the work, for example, pens, pencils, papers, books, rulers, etc.
- Encourage and monitor, but don’t do the work. As the parent, your role is to support your young learner, but it’s your child’s role to learn. Be there to help with homework, especially if your child is struggling with it, but make sure you are guiding rather than doing. Remember too that the teacher may be using a different method than you used as a student, particularly in areas like math. If so, be sure to use the teacher’s method when helping your child because he or she not only has to get the correct answer, he or she has to understand why it’s right and what the teacher is doing in the classroom.
- Praise your student’s work. Encouragement and showing pride goes a long way in pretty much anything you do, and when it comes to homework, there’s no exception.
Do you have any tips for helping with homework? Let us know on our social media pages.