Homework Helper 101
Homework assignments do more than just help a student practice academic concepts. Homework reinforces lessons and helps students build discipline and time management skills outside of the classroom.
When your child brings home assignments, she may seek your help, or you may help encourage her to be proactive in completing her own homework and projects. These assignments enable children to learn how to follow directions and complete work in an organized fashion.
Reinforce a good work ethic, responsibility, and strong study habits for your child’s academic success.
Designate a space for completing homework. Younger children may prefer working in the kitchen or dining room to do their homework. It allows them to be closer to you and ask for help or encouragement. Older children will most likely feel more comfortable in their own rooms.
Wherever your child or grandchild prefers to work, make sure the area is well-lit, comfortable, quiet, and free from distractions. Establish a routine and plan for kids to do homework at the same time every day, whether after a snack or after dinner. This establishes expectations about homework.
Your encouragement is essential to your child or grandchild’s success. Reinforce why homework is important and how it will help them on upcoming schoolwork and tests. Help them interpret instructions, answer questions, and review work as needed.
To help make homework easier:
- Set a routine. Set a designated time and place for homework to be done. This established expectations about homework, which should be a priority over playing with friends or other hobbies. Unnecessary electronics should be shut off. Reinforce that studying and homework requires focus.
- Build a strategy. Helping your child or grandchild with homework will help you see how he or she works best. Do they have more success when tasks are broken up, or when they complete easier assignments first? Help plan homework time accordingly.
- Practice organization. Talk to your child or grandchild about upcoming assignments. Show them how to use a calendar or planner. These organizational skills will reinforce good habits.
- Talk it out. Apply real world examples to what they are earning in class. They will see the importance of what they're learning and will be motivated to complete assignments.
- Adjust your habits. As your child or grandchild grows, they may get better at doing certain assignments alone and require less oversight.
Any connection with kids during homework time provides a picture of how they’re learning, growing, and developing. Consistent complaints about homework may be a sign of a learning disability. Similarly, a child who is breezing through assignments may be comfortable in a more advanced class. Your involvement can help set the stage for positive homework experiences and help identify academic struggles early on.