It's the start of October. The back-to-school hype has already simmered down, and even though we're still early in the school year, it's time to swing into action with monitoring your child's homework practices.
Establishing healthy homework habits at an early age will help your child build a lifelong stable work ethic. Work habits are constantly evolving for us, even as adults, but the earlier you introduce good homework and learning practices, the easier it will be for your child to concentrate and motivate themselves to continue to excel in school—and anything else they set their mind to. So, how do you help your kids with homework?
10 Tips for Homework Success
- Check in. Use family meals or car trips as a time to check in with your child regarding school. Kids can sometimes be reluctant to talk about classes, so try to be enthusiastic and encouraging. Ask questions to get them excited about their school day.
- Create a designated study or homework space for your child—somewhere quiet with a desk, ample school supplies, and lots of light or a big window.
- Monitor video game, television, and Internet use. If your child is using the Internet for a school assignment, review good Internet practices with your child and make sure that they are only using the computer for homework.
- Establish a routine time for homework. Whether it be right after school or right after an extracurricular activity or sport, it's important to get to it as soon as possible! Then your child can play and relax afterward. Be sure to send them off to their desk with a snack.
- Encourage your child to do the challenging homework or the most important assignment first. Try to make yourself as available as possible to help or answer any questions (without hovering). It's still important that you allow them to learn things on their own as well, but always be available for questions.
- Help ensure that your child understands what an assignment is asking of them. This is also a great way to find out how much they're listening in class, or what subjects they struggle with more than others.
- Show your child how to observe and manage their time. For example, write out a list of homework that needs to be completed along with how long your child thinks it will take. Compare at the end. This will be helpful in establishing efficient time management skills.
- After your child has completed his or her assignment, see if he or she will teach you any of their competed homework. This lets your child play the role of teacher, and you just might learn something new!
- Praise good work. If they got an A, absolutely pin it up on the fridge!
- Pay attention to your child's strengths and weaknesses. If they're struggling in certain areas, make sure you are aware and can work to provide the necessary professional assistance your child needs to succeed.
And remember, reading is the gateway to learning, so don't forget to read to your children (or let them read to you) whenever and wherever possible. Healthy readers produce healthy learners!
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