Help for homework
Homework can have many benefits for young children. It can help students develop study skills that will be of value even after they leave school. It can teach them that learning takes place anywhere, not just in the classroom. Homework can also foster positive character traits such as independence and responsibility. Read on for tips to help you make the most of your child’s homework time.
Make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit place to do homework
Avoid having your child do homework with the television on or in places with other distractions, such as people coming and going.
Ensure your child has the materials he needs
In addition to standard tools like paper, pencils and a dictionary, ask your child if special materials will be needed for some projects and get them in advance.
Help your child with time management
Establish a set time each day for doing homework. Don't let your child leave homework until just before bedtime.
Be positive about homework
Tell your child how important school is. The attitude you express about homework will be the attitude your child acquires.
When your child does homework, you do homework
Show your child that the skills they are learning are related to things you do as an adult. If your child is reading, you read too. If your child is doing math, balance your checkbook.
When your child asks for help, provide guidance, not answers
Giving answers means your child will not learn the material. Too much help teaches your child that when the going gets rough, someone will do the work for him or her.
When the teacher asks that you play a role in homework, do it
Cooperate with the teacher. It shows your child that the school and home are a team. Follow the directions given by the teacher.
If homework is meant to be done by your child alone, stay away
Homework is a great way for kids to develop independent, lifelong learning skills.
Talk with your child's teacher. Make sure you know the purpose of homework and what your child's class rules are.
Prioritize their homework
Have your child do the hard work first. This will mean he or she will be most alert when facing the biggest challenges. Easy material will seem to go fast when fatigue begins to set in.
Watch your child for signs of failure and frustration
Let your child take a short break if he or she is having trouble keeping her mind on an assignment.
Reward progress in homework
If your child has been successful in homework completion and is working hard, celebrate that success with a special event (e.g., pizza, a walk, a trip to the park) to reinforce the positive effort.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs, Educational Partnerships and Family Involvement Unit, Homework Tips for Parents, Washington, D.C., 2003.
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