Painless Parenting Strategies to Help Your Kids with Homework
It can be hard to keep up with changes in curriculum and how children are taught. However, there is plenty we can do, as parents, to meaningfully contribute to our children’s education. Take a look to learn some strategies for helping your kids with homework.
Know Your Stuff
The most important step is to try and talk with your child’s teachers. To do that, attend as many school functions as you can, from parent-teacher conferences to chaperoning at field trips. Once you’ve met their teachers, keep in contact with them. Email and call them to keep abreast of homework policies and to learn about any resources they might suggest to best help your child. When assisting your child, read their text books aloud with them so you have a better understanding of what your little one is learning. It’s also important, especially for younger children, to know their schedules. This way, you can help them make a plan for when each portion of an assignment needs to be done. Don’t be afraid to ask your child about their assignments and upcoming tests. If they know you’re there for them, they will be more amenable to coming to you for help when necessary.
Don’t Over Help
While you want to be available for help, over-helping doesn’t do your child any good. It is their work after all, and these are concepts they need to learn. Younger children may need more hands-on help, but older children should be allowed to work independently, only coming to you when they are struggling. Even then, the Socratic Method is best. Ask your children questions to encourage them to discover the answer for themselves. Avoid correcting your little one’s exercises at home as the teacher will often have better corrections. Make certain, however, that your child does learn from their mistakes. If the teacher has sent them home with corrections, gently go over them with your child to make sure they understand what went wrong and that they have learned from their mistakes.
Have a Study Spot
Just as the bed is for sleeping and the dining table is for eating, having specific areas for specific things can help us focus on the task at hand. Designate a certain area specifically for studying and homework. Keep that desk or table as distraction-free as you can, but also ensure that there is enough room for all of your child’s study materials, including books, paper, pens, and pencils, as well as a lamp to see easily. With a “home” for studying, they may have an easier time slipping into study mode when they sit to do their work. This is not a space for playing on technology or chatting with their friends. This place is made for homework alone.
Make It Fun
Repetition can be boring, and often, studying can be difficult for our little ones. They may have a hard time sitting still and reading the same things over and over again. If you can make studying and homework fun, your child may be more successful with their work. Practice physical learning when you can. Count tangible objects, especially brightly colored ones, and let your child guide your activities. If they love dogs, you can keep them learning through dog-related lesson plans. Show your child that you are having fun. If they see you enjoying yourself, they may be more likely to have fun themselves. This doesn’t have to be a boring activity but a chance to bond with your kids.
Life can be hectic and busy, but starting our children down a successful path of education is important. Take the time you both need to work with your children to help them when they ask for it. Be creative, have fun, and most of all, show your child how important they are by being present when they need you the most.
Courtesy of Mighty Moms