Helping Your Child With Homework
by Vicki Hillard
Homework helps children learn and practice important skills, helps them do better in school, and it teaches them how to be responsible. It also allows for the parent to be involved in their child’s education. Here are a few tips for helping your child successfully complete homework:
1. Set a regular time and place for homework. Find a quiet place to complete homework at the same time every day. This consistent routine will help them develop a responsible habit.
2. Limit TV time. Set a rule that there’s no TV on school days or until their homework is finished.
3. Take breaks. If your child is becoming frustrated, allow them to take a 5 or 10 minute break. Let them get a drink, get some fresh air outside, or take some deep breaths. Even if your child is not feeling frustrated, taking a break after 15 to 20 minutes is helpful.
4. Be available. Many children like having someone with them when working on homework. Be available to your child if he/she has questions or needs encouragement.
5. Check their work. Don’t do your child’s work for them. Point out anything that needs corrected in a gentle tone of voice. Praise them for their efforts and accomplishments.
6. Help your child get organized. Make sure they carry their homework to and from school in their book bags/backpacks. Keep their book bag in the same place every day to avoid looking for it in the mornings.
7. Give Praise. Children respond to praise, especially when it comes from the people they value the most, their parents. Praise and encouragement give your child a boost of confidence, which will improve their motivation to continue to work hard.
- Be a good role model. Show your child that homework is important. When your child sees that you value their education, they have a good reason to complete their homework. You can also point out to your child the responsibilities you have, and how you feel when you accomplish them. Display a positive attitude about the responsibilities you have. Work on your own projects during homework time. Pay bills, write letters or do some of your own work. This will send your child a message that you think homework time is important.
If completing homework becomes a daily problem for your child, you may want to consider implementing a reward system. Each day your child completes homework without a problem, he/she earns a sticker on a reward chart. When a certain amount of stickers are earned (you and your child should decide together on what the goal should be), a reward is given. Ask your child what is something he/she would like to work towards. It could be getting an ice cream cone, extra computer/TV/video game time, spending special time with a parent, going to the park, etc. For ideas and examples on reward charts, visit www.freeprintablebehaviorcharts.com