Can You Help a Child With Homework?
If you have a child in elementary school then you probably didn’t hesitate with your Yes! To be able to help a child with homework after elementary school – means you’re a genius!
All kidding aside, it does seem that school work is getting harder and earlier. So, how can you help a child with homework? First let’s look at ways to help them that do not involve a vast knowledge of trigonometry, calculus or chemistry.
Know What’s Going on
First, be involved in your child’s education. Make a point to go to their school and meet each one of their teachers. Many schools now have tools available online for parents. You can log in and see what the homework for the day is as well as keep tabs on their grades.
When my daughter was in middle school, her principal hated to see me coming. If a situation came up that I felt needed to be addressed, I addressed it. I believe in dealing with things head on.
Talk to teachers about problems with assignments. I think people forget (the teachers especially) that teachers work for you (the parent). Hold them accountable. If you are not satisfied with results with the teacher then go talk to the principal.
Work Space at Home
Consistency is the key. Set a regular time for doing homework. Choose a designated homework space. Remove all distractions and provide any supplies and/or resources needed to assist with productive study. The space should be well lit and comfortable.
Also, be available to your child. You should look over their homework, talk to them about their assignments and keep an eye out for frustration. Be sure to give praise and encouragement.
The U.S. Department of Education provides a checklist for ways you can help your child with school work.
Show That You Think Education and Homework Are Important
- Do you set a regular time every day for homework?
- Does your child have the papers, books, pencils and other things needed to do assignments?
- Does your child have a well-lit, fairly quiet place to study?
- Do you set a good example by showing your child that the skills he is learning are an important part of the things he will do as an adult?
- Do you stay in touch with your child’s teacher?
- Do you know what your child’s homework assignments are? How long they should take? How the teacher wants you to be involved in them?
- Do you see that your child starts and completes assignments?
- Do you read the teacher’s comments on assignments that are returned?
- Is TV viewing or video game playing cutting into your child’s homework time?
- Do you help your child to get organized? Does your child need a schedule or assignment book? A book bag or backpack and a folder for papers?
- Do you encourage your child to develop good study habits (for example, scheduling enough time for big assignments; making up practice tests)?
- Do you talk with your child about homework assignments? Does she understand them?
Talk with Teachers to Resolve Problems
- Do you meet with the teacher early in the year before any problems arise?
- If a problem comes up, do you meet with the teacher?
- Do you cooperate with the teacher to work out a plan and a schedule to solve homework problems?
- Do you follow up with the teacher and with your child to make sure the plan is working?
You can also find a list of Federal Sources of Assistance.
Know When to Ask For Help
Encourage your child to reach out when they are struggling with a subject or assignment. Let them know it is part of the learning process. Try not to discourage a questioning child. I know it can be bothersome sometimes but it is how we all learn. It is always a good thing to question, to seek answers. Not only is it good in school work but in life as well.
Here are some free online resources for when you just don’t have the answers.