How to Help Your Kids at Homework Time
School is back in session, and for many, it’s going to be an interesting transition.
One thing that you can do to help is supporting your children with their homework.
Studies have shown that kids are more successful in school when their parents take an active interest in their education, especially homework.
As an involved parent, you’ll wear many hats: motivator, monitor, organizer, and cheerleader.
And you may be wondering: What are some ways I can help?
Support the teachers
- Get behind their homework policies, keep in touch, speak positively about them, read their updates and notes, meet them (in-person or virtually)
- Know that it’s a team effort between parents, children, and teachers
Figure out how your child learns best
- Are they a visual, auditory, or hands-on learner?
- Do they like a quiet space, or is background noise soothing?
Help them strategize their homework routine
- Let them plan their routine – when, where, and how
- Will they take a break after school before beginning their homework?
- Or will they start right away?
- Sooner begun is sooner done.” – Patrick Rothfuss
- Encourage not waiting until the last minute
- If necessary, instill a time limit – if their homework isn’t completed by 8 pm then they go to school with unfinished assignments
Where’s the best place for them to work?
- In their room?
- A specific homework area?
- On the floor?
- Near you? Or away from you?
Teach them how to organize their homework and practice good time management skills
- Show them how to use a planner
- Have them fill in all project due dates, quizzes, and tests dates, after school activities, appointments
- Explain the benefits of doing their homework in manageable chunks
- How long do they think each task will take?
- Teach them the feeling of accomplishment through the medium of crossing off items on a to-do list
- Celebrate the little achievements
Focus! Break. Focus!
- Help them avoid distractions by designating homework time as the time to charge their phones…in a different room.
- Sitting down to do homework is not a one-shot deal. Kids need breaks.
- Use a timer
- Provide snacks and drinks
- If your child is a daydreamer, have them do a physical activity to get them re-focused
Whose assignment is it?
- Let your child do their own work
- If they ask you to proofread their paper and you find grammatical errors, you can suggest changes, but try not to get upset if they don’t do them – it’s their work, so their choice
- Micromanaging isn’t necessary, but be aware of your child’s homework. Use the planner to monitor assignments, projects, quizzes, and tests
- Show interest in their day and what they’re learning
You are your child’s prime supporter
- Praise a job well-done
- Be specific – “Wow! You got all your seven times tables correct!”
- Create a positive learning environment
- Be your child’s cheerleader
Encourage your child to ask for help
- If a concept, assignment, or project is hard to understand, remind them their teacher is their best resource and eager to help
It’s their job
- Learning about responsibility means taking ownership of what they do and don’t do
- Don’t bail your kids out
Guide their frustration to a success
- Acknowledge that some assignments are challenging and let them voice their frustration
- When an assignment doesn’t make sense to your child, have them talk you through it. This can very often lead to an “a-ha” moment
Helping with homework seems like a no-brainer, but there is a fine line between micromanaging and supportive parenting. Use these tips to help your child have a successful year when it comes to homework.