There’s no doubt that school takes up a significant part of your child’s daily schedule. Not only are they in classes, but they often have a stack of homework to complete once they’re at home too. How are you expected to navigate this collision between home and school as a parent? How much support and assistance should you really give them? Here are some tips for helping your kids with their homework.
1. Designate Specific Study Zones
Having a specific place to do homework and alleviate some of the distractions can be the key to getting homework done for some kids. Some work better alone in their room, others do better in a family space like an office. Whichever it is, make sure your kids have a spot of their own with all of the supplies they need. Encourage them to help you decorate it so that they feel a sense of ownership (and maybe even excitement) about their personal homework zone.
2. Set “No Screen” Times
Another significant distraction for many kids is screens. With TVs, computers, gaming consoles and cell phones, it can be hard to keep track of all the devices your kids have access to! During study times, make it a house rule that it is also a no screen time. This will help your kids focus on the tasks at hand.
3. Watch For Frustration
Has your child been spending hours on a single math problem or the whole weekend trying to complete a research assignment? As a parent, it’s important to pay attention to signs of frustration from your kids. Some teachers might not realize how time consuming their projects end up being for their students or your child might need some extra help and support to get something done. Once your child is frustrated, it will be significantly harder for them to complete tasks well. At moments like this, encourage them to take a break and offer to speak to their teacher about a strategy or compromise instead.
4. Offer Guidance
When is it time for you to step in and give your kid a hand with their assignment? And how much help is too much? It’s important that you don’t take away the learning opportunity from your child by completing an assignment for them. Instead, if they’re stuck, try offering guidance by providing other examples or asking questions to point them towards a solution. Remember that you’re there as a guide—not as someone to complete a task for them.
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