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November 24, 2014 Follow TrueSchools on Twitter
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14 Homework Tips for Parents

Here are 14 tips every parent can use to help their children get homework done.
By True Schools Staff

1. Be Positive & Have Fun

Remind your child that school is important and that homework can be fun. This can help him/her take a more optimistic approach to homework each night.

2. Do the Difficult Homework Assignments First

Most children are more alert and focused when they first sit down with their homework. Take advantage of this by starting with the more difficult homework first, and then following up with the easier stuff afterwards.

3. Schedule Homework Sessions

Scheduling a particular time for homework each day can help develop a routine and avoid situations like rushing to get everything done just before bed. It can also help children learn to manage their time better as they know specifically when homework starts. With larger homework projects, it's not a bad idea to schedule more time in, but try to avoid making sudden schedule changes as that can lead to anxiety for some children.

4. Avoid Doing Homework for Them

We've all been there. You're trying to help your child with homework and the answer to a particular question is staring you in the face, but he/she doesn't see it. Try and avoid the urge to help too much in these situations. Homework, just like school itself, is your child's opportunity to develop the lifelong learning skills necessary to succeed in life. Be patient, and let him/her figure it out. The process of figuring it out themselves is much more valuable than you simply giving them the correct answer.

5. Keep Learning Materials in the House

Having materials such as paper, pencils, rulers etc. around the house is a good idea, and keeping everything in a particular place can prevent wasted time looking for something.

6. Do Homework in a Quiet and Well-lit Space

The right environment makes a big difference. Make sure your child does his/her homework in a space that doesn't have a television or radio turned on and is free of any other distractions. Good lighting is essential too.

7. Homework Incentives

While controversial, some experts feel incentives to motivate your child to work hard and finish homework on time can have beneficial effects. Common incentives include allowances, play time, television, games, etc. Some parents use food as a homework incentive, but be careful. Using food as a reward can lead to lifelong eating issues.

8. Know Teachers' Homework Objectives

Talk to your child's teachers and ask about homework. What are the teachers' goals and objectives with homework? Having this understanding can better help you guide your child in the right direction.

9. Monitor for Signs of Frustration

If you notice your child exhibiting signs of frustration with a difficult homework assignment, it's acceptable to give him/her a short break. Just make sure break time doesn't turn into all night.

10. Provide a Little Guidance

Ask questions to understand how they are thinking about particular homework problems and assignments. If they are having difficulty, sometimes guiding them to take a different approach can make all the difference. But remember, a certain amount of guidance is acceptable, but avoid the slippery slope of simply doing the homework for them.

11. Receive Guidance from Teachers

Ask your child's teachers how you can best help them with their homework.

12. Compare Homework to Important Life Skills

Be an example for your child. Show how what he/she is learning can be applied to daily life. Turning simple math problems into word problems related to daily life is a great example. Also, think about your work and how the skills your child is developing are related to your job. Giving educational skills value to real world tasks can be a great motivator to any child.

13. Use a Homework Assignment Book

Create a homework assignment book. Better yet, let your child create one. Include dates, teachers, homework assignments, and completion times.

14. Meet Your Child's Teachers

Talk to your child's teachers and ask them for more tips and suggestions on how you can help with homework. Remember that your approach to different topics such as reading, spelling, math, social studies, etc. will vary, so the more teachers you talk to the better you will be prepared to help your child with his/her homework.

 
Homework Doesn’t Have to Be a Battle of Wills
Photo by: Cayusa (Bart)
 
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