Summer has ended, and it's time for your child to go back to school! Here are 10 ways parents can help their child when it comes to homework.
- Provide a Suitable Environment and Materials
It’s important that your child has a well-let, quiet workspace —away from any distractions. This workspace should have all the right study materials or school supplies your child may need to be productive, such as: paper, binder paper, pens, pencils and a dictionary. Remind your child before leaving school to look over his/her assignments to see what textbooks or materials he or she will need. We all know those last-minute runs back to school for books are no fun!
- Designate a Space for Each Child
If you have more than one child, and even if your children are well behaved — they’re most likely distracting to one another during homework time. Find separate workspaces for each of your children. If one child finishes before the other, encourage he or she to read — or even get ahead in his or her homework!
- Establish a Schedule
Develop a regular and consistent schedule that gives your child enough study time, but also some free time. Most kids will be productive earlier in the evening. While others need an after-school break and an energizing snack before starting homework. All children are different — the most important thing is to establish a routine that works for YOUR child.
- Homework Time = NO TECHNOLOGY
Limit your child’s TV time, cell phone time and laptop time. Unless your child needs to use the computer for homework, make your child turn in his or her electronics.
This can be a little harder with teenagers, especially with all the popular social media sites — Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. Have them get into the habit of silencing their cell phone (turning off the vibration and ringtone) and placing it away from where they’re studying.
- Be Ready to Be a Resource
Always be available to answer homework questions. Do a couple problems with your child, and watch he or she do the next one. Although you may be busy parent with a lot going on — remind your child (AND YOURSELF) that school always comes first.
- Don’t Give the Answers
Avoid giving your child the answers. Ask questions that allow your child to see the problem in smaller steps. You won’t be there when your child takes a test, so doing his or her homework won’t be helpful in the long run.
- Use an Assignment Book
Some schools provide their students with an academic planner, if not — BUY ONE! Make your child get into a habit of writing down all the assignments.
- Connect with the Teacher and School
Check to see if your child’s teacher has a website where all the assignments are listed. See if the school offers tutoring sessions that can help your child if he or she is struggling. Make sure to share your concerns to your child’s teacher at any time during the school year — not just at parent-teacher conferences.
- Review Graded Work and Mistakes
Always look over completed and graded assignments. Bad grades and incorrect answers are an opportunity to learn! Don’t scold your child for mistakes or a bad grade, but discuss the errors so your child can fully understand the material. These questions might show up again in end-of-year exam, so it’s smart to help your child learn the correct answer while the material is still fresh in his or her mind.
It’s helpful to save all completed and graded homework in a folder. Before a chapter test, it will be easy to find quizzes or homework assignments to review.
- Keep Up Healthy Habits
Most kids are sleep-deprived by not getting in the full seven to eight hours of sleep. If your child has a packed schedule — clubs, sports, part-time jobs — it might be time to reevaluate what he or she has time for. It’s important for your child to have some time to relax at the end of the day. Lastly, encourage healthy eating and daily exercise to help keep their minds’ sharp!
What strategies have helped your child succeed in homework — or school, in general? Leave your tips below in our comment section.