Read on the best method for supportive and effective assistance with school assignments.
Sure, the day you knew you never had to complete another homework assignment was great, but remember: the point of homework is to reinforce classroom material, add information, improve study habits and test your children’s knowledge. Use these tips to keep your kids on track and establish a routine of working hard to benefit them beyond any classroom.
1. Stick with a Schedule
Schedule specific time for homework — whether it’s after school or after dinner, it should be free from television viewing, video games, texting or other social functions, even if they prefer to multitask. Stick consistently with the same time and be flexible with other activities.
2. Pick a Location
Whether at a desk in their room, the dining room or kitchen table, with siblings or alone, find out which space has the least distractions and is most conducive to productivity. Some kids prefer sound in the background in order to focus, but keep television, phone, Internet (except for research) and other tech stuff off-limits.
3. Help Them Find the Answer
Don’t do homework for your child just because you know the answers. Do one problem together and let them do the rest on their own. This helps them learn and problem solve, which are critical skills to acquire. Show interest in their work and be available for questions. It improves your student’s work ethic.
4. Review Work with Your Kids
Follow up to see how your child scored on an assignment and look over mistakes together. Be sure to reinforce the idea that mistakes are opportunities for discussion. Once you’ve worked through it together, see if they understand the material.
Suggest tips for remembering facts and use flash cards to review material or concepts. An interactive way of learning is effective, perhaps with an older sibling or fellow student.
5. Meet with Teachers
Talking and meeting with teachers show educators there’s a supportive environment at home. If your child lags behind, speak of your concerns and ask if teachers have suggestions to encourage your child and recommend ideas or a tutor.
6. When You Don’t Know the Answer
Believe it or not, your child’s homework is also an opportunity for you to learn. Do some research to find the answers, but don’t just hand them over. Just because you’re not a professional teacher doesn’t mean you can’t serve as one at home.
Show your kids how to research answers. Be sensitive to their needs. How do your children learn? Are they a visual or audial type? Both? Find out and help your children understand how they learn the best.
7. Make a Plan
Get an assignment schedule calendar. When the workload increases and kids are juggling various assignments, your support with time-management skills will be valuable in working through difficult tasks and completing their schoolwork.
Find out about long-term projects so you can schedule and develop a work plan and gather necessary supplies to avoid a last-minute rush to finish.
8. Teach Life Skills
Motivate children and show them how to prioritize their workload. Studying for a test, for example, is a more immediate task than working on a project due at the end of the week. If they receive good scores and maintain grade averages, allow them privileges. Don’t think of it as a “carrot on a stick” — think of it more as a reward for a job well done.
9. Set an Example
Read books. Discuss ideas. Go to a science museum together. Add to their studies with relevant information such as word and math games. Your actions speak volumes. Showing your kids that you too value education even though you don’t go to school cultivates a lifelong love of knowledge.
10. Offer Praise
Show off your kids’ work, whether it’s a test with a high grade, an art or science project, or a report card. Encourage your kids. Complimenting children with more than words gives them a sense of pride in their academic accomplishments. If you show you believe in them, it builds confidence