Homework can be one of the toughest challenges your kids face while they’re in school, especially as they move up through the grades. They may have loved poring over books when they were in grade school, but most middle-schoolers and teens start losing enthusiasm as they’re assigned more and more homework every year.
As a parent, you can be a huge source of support for your child, helping your kid or teen learn to manage their assignments better. This reduces stress for them as well as the rest of the family, allowing for a healthier balance between homework, family life and social activities.
Top 6 Homework Help Tips for Parents
Here are 6 ways to help your child improve their study and homework habits:
- Set Up a Workspace – Your child needs a separate, dedicated and well-equipped space for homework. Younger kids may prefer to work with you nearby, so set up a study area where you’re doing chores or your own work. Older kids and teens might prefer a private workspace, so set up their desk in a well-lit area away from distractions. If your child needs a computer, use parental blocks to filter their access.
- Build a Home Library – The Internet may have made encyclopedias and dictionaries almost obsolete, but the written word isn’t gone yet. Physical books offer their own benefits, particularly since they encourage kids to read more. Set up a home library with storybooks, light reading and reference material for both younger children and older ones, and reach out to it yourself every now and then!
- Deal with Frustration – A heavy workload or tough assignments can cause your child to feel frustrated, and changes in your routine can try your patience as well. Let your kid vent their feelings, and calmly hear them out when they’re complaining. This allows you to pinpoint issues that you may be able to help with, and your child is more likely to listen to your suggestions if he or she feels you understand them.
- Offer Positive Feedback – Little children are very sensitive to criticism, and may also beat themselves up over every mistake they make. When you’re helping them with homework and making corrections to what they’ve done, pick out specific areas where they’ve improved and praise them for it. Remind older kids how proud you are of their progress. They’re pleased, even if they roll their eyes at you!
- Remain Available – Just being nearby when your child is working on homework assignments or studying for a test can be a huge boost of confidence for them. Encourage your kid to ask for help when needed. If you can’t give them the help they require, check if their teachers are available after school hours. You can also get them an online tutor to help with math, physics or other tough subjects. Additionally, you can offer help as needed but remember – don’t hover when they study, but be there.
- Don’t Do Their Work – Offering your child help and guidance is important, but make sure you aren’t doing their homework for them. Help them look up words in the dictionary, make sense of directions given for an assignment, or review math problems after they’ve solved them. However, resist the urge to give them the answers or show them how something is done, at least until they try it themselves.
Plus, 4 Study Habits to Teach Your Kid
Here are some healthy study habits you should teach your child:
- Stick to a Schedule – For younger children, plan when and how to tackle assignments based on their development level. Give older kids a timeframe within which to complete their homework, and encourage them to turn off the TV, phones, social media and other distractions during that time.
- Improve Study Skills – Completing homework assignments isn’t enough; your child needs to learn from them. Help your kid develop good study and note-taking skills, summarizing what they learn using flashcards, charts, tables and other strategies. This reduces workload during exam time and makes learning in class easier too.
- Stay Organized – An organized approach to homework and study makes the process less stressful and more streamlined. Use color-coded flashcards, folder or notebooks to make notes for each subject, and encourage older kids or teens to use a planner or study calendar to keep track of their progress.
- Explore New Methods – There’s a huge variety of learning tools and tutoring options available today, especially with online learning. Encourage your child to explore these anytime-anywhere study methods, and regularly touch base with teachers and guidance counselors to stay in the loop about their progress.
Heavy workloads can be tough for your child to handle alone, so you need to step in and help them where they need it. That’s what parents are for, right?
About Author: Making education simple and easy to comprehend is Dana Jandhayala’s forte. She’s had a long career as an educator where she has taught in several different schools and institutes in multiple countries. Today, she helps students with personalized online tutorials by SchoolPage that help make concepts easy to understand, making learning fast and fun. She writes to help students study better, and to coach parents so they can facilitate the success of their children.
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