A Guide to Helping Your Children With Their Homework


Homework is an integral part of every child’s education.  It allows students the opportunity to practice independently what has been studied in school. By allowing them to examine and apply what they have learned, homework helps students master the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful students.

These are some helpful steps that all parents can take to ensure that their child will complete their homework assignments effectively.

Be a role model
Let your children know how important homework is to their education. Explain that you remember being their age and having to complete assignments during nights and weekends. Show them that you got through it and that they will as well.

Set up a homework routine
Children benefit from routines. Sit down with your children and work out a schedule that will allow them to complete their homework and have time to relax. Take their needs and interests into consideration; if their favorite television show is on at 3:30, start "homework time" at 4:00. Most importantly, remember to be consistent with the schedule. It usually takes about three weeks before a routine becomes a habit. Give them the time and support and they will respond.

Use positive reinforcement
Recognize your children for their effort. No matter the age, children often seek approval from their parents. If your kids have been working especially hard, let them know that you have noticed the improvement. If they have consistently shown responsibility in completing their homework, tell them how proud you are of them. If they resist doing homework, make certain that they understand its importance. Discuss whatever difficulties they may be having and try to arrive at solutions together.

Do not do the homework for them
While this may sound pretty elementary, you would be surprised how many parents end up doing their children’s homework for them. This can occur as a result of frustration, disappointment, or fear of failure. Needless to say, your child will derive no benefit from you doing his/her homework. Without question, your time would be better spent assessing your child’s difficulties and helping him/her work through them.

Try not to walk them through everything
Do not take this to mean that you should not help your children with their homework. However, it is important to understand that it is their work and their responsibility. If they are getting frustrated, try showing them examples and see if they can discover the solutions on their own. The key is to only give them as much as help as they really need. That way, they will have the opportunity to engage the materials that they are studying most effectively and get the most benefit from their time.

Keep up relations with your child’s teacher
From time to time, every child may experience stress regarding homework. By keeping up with what is going on in your children’s classes, you will have a stronger understanding of the nature of their difficulties and be better prepared to help them. The relationship between teachers and parents is vital to every child’s education. It is something that should never be taken for granted.

Check the homework
This may seem like the easiest suggestion, but it may be overlooked by many parents and teachers. As students complete their homework, check to see if they understand the subject matter. For some kids, it may be easier to check homework in sections, as each subject’s work is accomplished. For others, it may be easier to check over everything when they are finished completely. See which system works best for your child and go on from there.

 

Last Updated on June 20, 2010

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