How do you help your kids with their homework?

Being a working mom, it’s difficult to maximize the time that I spend with my kids when it comes to assisting them whenever they have homework. It’s not easy because most of the times it takes a 2-hour drive to get home from work, and by then, sometimes my daughter is already asleep, or is about to sleep.

Since my two other kids are already in College and High School, I only have to monitor their school activities, and make sure that they are not behind their lessons or projects that they need to submit.

How can we help our kids?

(1) Get them to use the computer. The Internet is an amazing resource. There are a lot of homework sites which offer reliable information for all grades.
Get involved. Make sure that you know what’s going on with your children when they are in school.

Grades three through six

  • Give lots of feedback. Have your child solve problems or answer questions five or so at a time, then check the work. This way, you can spot errors right away and correct them.
  • Zero in on good work first. With kids this age, it’s especially important to point out what they did right.
  • Don’t let homework drag on. If an assignment isn’t further along after an hour, there’s something your child just isn’t getting.

High School

  • Help kids get organized. Review daily assignments as soon as your kid gets home from school.
  • Set priorities. You can help by ranking the work from easiest to hardest. Then encourage your child to tackle the easy jobs first. Break down big projects into little pieces over a period of several weeks.
  • Foster independence. Encourage your child to work more on his own. Check an assignment only when it is actually complete.

(3) Find help when necessary. Some kids are particularly reluctant to do homework. This may signal a more serious issue, perhaps even a learning problem. Yelling or punishing rarely does any good. Instead, set up a conference with your child’s teacher and together, come up with an action plan.

(4) Provide a good work space. Kids need to get into a homework bubble. When you provide a quiet, uncluttered place for them to study, it sends a powerful message that homework is valued.

(5) Respect different work styles. Some kids need a break after school, while others prefer to power through homework. Help your child figure out what works best for him, then stick to a consistent schedule.

(6) Experiment with different study aids. Most kids are taught to highlight important passages in the assigned reading. But making small notes in the margin can be a better strategy.


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