Homework is an important part of your children’s education. As they get older, they’ll get more of it. While it’s up to them to complete their homework, there are ways that you can support them as a parent in order to help them study more efficiently. Below are just a few tips for helping out kids with homework.
Schedule a set time for homework
Once your kids start getting regular homework, it can be beneficial to encourage a homework routine. This could include doing their homework as soon as they get back from school, or straight after having dinner. Without this scheduled set homework time, many kids are likely to put off homework – which could result in them forgetting to do it or hurriedly rushing it in the morning.
Get rid of distractions
Kids are less likely to be able to concentrate on their homework if the TV is on or if a sibling is playing with video games or toys in the same room. Make sure that when they study, there are no clear distractions. This could include turning off the TV until they‘ve completed their homework, or making sure that siblings who don’t have homework stay in another room. Of course, if kids are still able to do their homework effectively with these distractions around, it may not be necessary to take them away.
Make sure they have all the right tools
Your kids may need certain equipment to do their homework such as a computer or a printer. Consider whether you need to buy them their own equipment, or whether they can share your equipment. Buying a child a computer can be a big decision as it requires having a lot of trust that they will not damage it and that they won’t stay up all night on it. If your kids are young, you may want to consider adding parental controls if they are young, and only allowing them to use it between certain times. As for affording this equipment, make sure to shop around for deals and look into things like school grants or vouchers.
Practice patience when helping young kids
Young kids are likely to need full hands-on support with their homework. Teachers may even ask you to write notes or sign homework to confirm that you’ve done it with them. Dedicating this time to helping them could be difficult if you’ve also got to juggle tasks like cooking or looking after infants, however it’s important that you give your kids the attention they need. This will require patience – especially if your child is struggling with a homework task. Try not to rush them or lose your temper, as this will make kids dread homework even more. If you notice that kids are really struggling with work, you may want to talk to a teacher or look into getting teaching support (learning difficulties like dyslexia may benefit from this extra help).
Provide positive encouragement
A lot of kids need positive encouragement to motivate them to do their homework. This includes praising kids for their efforts and acknowledging their progress. Don’t be too critical of kids that are struggling. Similarly, you should avoid nagging kids to do their homework or put in more effort – it’s often better to let kids face the consequences at school if they’re not putting in effort or doing their homework.
Find ways to make homework fun
Homework doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, there may be ways of turning it into fun parent-child bonding time. A few ways to make homework more fun include reading books in funny voices, competing against the clock, putting on music or doing fun short games between homework tasks. If you make it fun enough, kids will actually look forward to doing their homework. This is very important with young kids and can help them to adopt a positive mindset to learning.
Show an interest in creative projects
As kids get older, they may start being set creative projects like giving presentations, building models or writing stories. Showing an interest in these creative projects may inspire kids to put in more effort. You may even be able to suggest ideas to kids who may be struggling such as looking into informative speech topics for presentations or helping them brainstorm characters for stories.
Don’t do their homework for them
While you can offer suggestions and hints, it’s important that you don’t get into the habit of doing your children’s homework for them. Kids will not learn if you are giving away answers or even taking over construction of models, and parents will start to know something is up when kids perform better at home than at school.
Check in on older kids
Kids will reach an age when they want to do their homework independently. While it’s important to give them their space, it’s still worth checking in to see what they’re getting up to. Some parents ask kids to leave their door open while they do their homework to ensure that they’re not playing games or talking to friends instead, however you may not feel that this is necessary. One way of continuing to show your interest could be to simply ask kids about their homework each day to see what they’ve been up to – this will let your kids know that you still care about their education and will also make kids think twice about skipping their homework.
Understand that kids study differently
There is no one right way to study. In fact, if you have more than one child, you may find that they both adopt different methods of studying as they get older. Some kids may get into the habit of studying while listening to music. Others may get into a habit of doing homework with friends. So long as the homework is getting done and they are still getting good results in school, it doesn’t really matter how they are studying. Avoid trying to enforce that older kids study in a certain way if they don’t feel that this study method is right for them.
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