Interesting Guidelines: Helping Kids with Homework

Take an Active Role in Your Child’s Education

You want to be involved with your child’s education from grade one on up. If you’ve never seen Robin Williams in The World According to Garp, Wiliiam’s character, Garp, actually attended his son’s classes with him to see if the course was challenging enough for his son. He also read his textbooks, proclaiming “crap” at many of them.

Like Garp, we want to take a strong interest in our children’s educations—and we don’t want to just see if our child is passing or what grade they are getting, but – are they learning, are they being challenged, and are they excited about school because they have good teachers?

Besides paying close attention to these matters, we often have to help our kids with homework, and you’ll want to do this to see how easy or hard this subject is for him—often, you can find out a lot by doing a bit of homework with them when asked,

Here are Some Good Guidelines for Helping Your Child With Homework

  1. First things, make a plan. Talk to your child about the last school year and where him/her can improve this year and how. If you know a subject is going to be especially challenging, and if you think your child needs it, consider a tutor, especially if learning this subject is essential to their mastering future subjects. For example, insisting on a math tutor early, can help student master concepts and develop math strategies that will carry them through high school.
  2. On homework days, make sure the student has a break before homework. Kids need time just to sit and reflect on their day – perhaps eat a snack and wind down, before hitting the books.
  3. Stress respect for teachers. However, make sure the teacher is challenging them as well. You want your child to be very honest to you, ultimately, about whatever is going on at school and in their lives in general.
  4. Above all things, treat homework as if it is a super-important thing. The more seriousness and weight you give this topic, the better. The child will come to say that above all things, their education comes first. Be very strict on this. You do not want an “I’ll get to it later” attitude develop because it will seep over into every aspect of your child’s education – and life.
  5. Get to know more about the topics they’re taking on your own. This way, you can ask the right questions and engage with your child about the subject. If you act as if the topic is important, they will take it more seriously.
  6. Make “education time” a part of the family’s goings-on every day. Take an hour and a half, perhaps (depending on how much time it will take your child to complete the task and do any reading. This time should be for reading, research. There should be total quiet and no TV, cellphones, or any other distraction. Web time is allowed for research and homework.
  7. Always stress the importance of learning how to understand the issues being presented – from math to English to science—not just getting the answers or questions right. Stressing answers may lead your child to seek answers on the web-and you don’t want your child depending on Google for his/her homework answers.
  8. Monitor homework and study time—with younger children, especially. Make sure they are using the web as a learning tool –not just an answering tool.
  9. Help when asked with teens. You don’t want them to dread “homework” time. But find a way to talk to them about their courses in an interesting way.
  10. Most educational researchers say with five and six year olds on up, what you want to do is help them with their homework, with a goal of decreasing this helping tendency over time. Also, over time, move physically away from the child during homework. You want them to come to you, over time, only over difficult questions they really do not know the answers to, not just asking for a distraction. Help them find the answer without giving it to them, as well. Ask instead, “How do you think you can come to an answer on this?”

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