Help Your Kids
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- Establish a routine and schedule for homework (a specific time and place) and adhere to the schedule as closely as possible. Don't allow your child to wait until the evening to get started.
- Limit distractions in the home during homework hours (eg, reduce unnecessary noise, activity, and phone calls; turn off the TV).
- Assist your child in dividing assignments into smaller parts or segments that are more manageable and less overwhelming.
- Assist your child in getting started on assignments (e.g., read the directions together, do the first items together, observe as your child does the next problem/item on his or her own). Once you know your child understands, please get up and leave.
- Monitor and give feedback without doing all the work together. Check in on your child as they work to ensure they are successful. You want your child to attempt as much as possible independently.
- Praise and compliment your child when he/she puts forth good effort and completes tasks. In a supportive, noncritical manner it is appropriate and helpful to assist in pointing out and making some corrections of errors on the homework.
- It is not your responsibility to correct all of your child's errors on homework or make him or her complete and turn in a perfect paper.
- Remind your child to do homework and offer incentives such as, "When you finish your homework, you can…"
- A contract for a larger incentive/reinforcer may be worked out as part of a plan to motivate your child to persist and follow through with homework. ("If you have no missing or late homework assignments this next week, you will earn. . .").
- Let the teacher know your child's frustration and tolerance level at the time he/she does homework. The teacher needs to be aware of the amount of time it takes your child to complete tasks and what efforts you are making to help at home.
- Help your child study for tests. Study together. Quiz your child in a variety of formats.
- If your child struggles with reading, help by reading the material together or reading it to your son or daughter.
- Work a certain amount of time and then stop working on homework. Don't force your child to spend an excessive and inappropriate amount of time on homework. If you feel your child worked enough for one night and are not done with homework, write a note to the teacher attached to the homework.
- Supervise to make sure that completed work leaves home and is in your child's notebook/backpack. You may want to arrange with the teacher a system for collecting homework immediately on arrival at school.
- Many parents find it very difficult to help their own child with school work. Find someone who can. Consider hiring a tutor! Often a junior or senior high school student is ideal, depending on the needs and age of your child.
- Make sure your child has the phone number of a study buddy - at least one responsible classmate to call for clarification of homework assignments.
- Parents, the biggest struggle is keeping on top of those dreaded long-range homework assignments (e.g., reports, projects). This is something you will need to be vigilant about. Ask for a copy of the project requirements. Post the list at home and go over it together with your child. Write the due date on a master calendar. Then plan how to break down the project into manageable parts, scheduling various steps along the way. Get started AT ONCE with going to the library, gathering resources, beginning the reading, and so forth. Your child will learn task/time management and will enjoy the success.