• How to Help Your Kids with Homework

    How to Help Your Kids with Homework

    As your child gets older, homework will start to become a bigger part of their life. Young students may complain about the extra work, but there are benefits to the assignments, papers, and projects they will inevitably bring home. Here are some great tips and strategies to help your child with their homework – without doing it for them.

    Establish A Routine

    Block out a specific time every day for “Homework Hour” and create a distraction-free space that’s well-lit and stocked with supplies. Instead of using a cell phone as a calculator, which could invite checking social media or playing games, get a real one from an office supply store. Have snacks and drinks handy for a quick study break. And if the space you’ve chosen is in a communal area, be sure to let other family members know that “Homework Hour” is in effect they should try to keep noise to a minimum.

    schoolgirl-with-stack-of-books

    Strategize

    Though it may seem counterintuitive, one of the biggest benefits of homework isn’t the actual work. Instead, the experience of having homework helps your child develop organizational and decision-making skills. Deciding which assignment to tackle first forces them prioritize their time. In the same vein, sticking to a plan and seeing it through lets kids learn to take pride in accomplishing their goals.

    If your child has a particularly long assignment, you can help them break it down into smaller blocks of work. Make a checklist to keep track of their progress and offer encouragement as they hit certain milestones.

    Be Supportive

    Inevitably your child will turn to you for help. In such a case, it’s important to be available to them at the drop of a hat. However, don’t sit down and immediately take over. If your child is stumped on a math problem, for example, try to get them to look at the problem in a new light by asking leading questions or offering a new perspective. Let them know that it’s okay to take a five-minute break, too; sometimes stepping away from a problem is a good mental reset.

    Another great way to support your child’s homework is to be a passive study partner. If they have a science test coming up, run flashcards with them or put together a quick pop quiz. That way, you’re still helping but at the same time ensuring they do the work themselves.

    father-watching-daughter-write-in-journal

    Stay in Touch

    It’s also a good idea to stay in contact with your child’s teachers. That way, you can get an early indication if your child has any problem areas in school for which they might need some extra help. Most teachers will be glad to talk with you.

    With a little patience, planning, and encouragement, homework can go from being a battle of wills to an important part of your child’s educational development. Happy studying!

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