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How to Help Your Child With Homework Without Actually Doing it For Them

by InnerHour on Mon, 13 Feb 2017
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Every parent wants to support their child and help them succeed in school. But when does lending a hand cross over into doing the work for them? How much should you help your child before they stop thinking for themselves? This is a balance almost every parent struggles to find.

The most important thing is to model for them the importance of education. Use their learning from daily life to show your child how their schooling is linked to the world and their lives at large. Let them know that you think homework is important, and pay attention to what they’re bringing home and how they apply themselves to it.

Here are some tips on how to monitor and support your child’s academic learning without actually doing their work for them.

Make a Schedule

Creating a schedule for assignments and homework can ensure that your children do their work on time, and also that the rest of the family knows when not to disturb them. Create a schedule based on your child’s unique needs, depending on whether they work best immediately after school or after an hour of play, etc. Be in touch with your child’s schedule, even if they make it themselves, so you can ensure that they’re following it.

Assign Them a Space

Not all children work best at a desk in their rooms, some are happier at the kitchen table or in the living room, as long as those around them aren’t too disruptive. Choose a quiet area with good lighting and try to stick to it. Try and ensure that this is a distraction-free zone.

Provide Resources

Ensure that your child is always stocked up on the stationery they need, in order to prevent time being wasted scrabbling around for paper and pens. Take them to a library or allow access to a computer as required for research or communicating with teachers or educational resources online.

Be a Good Role Model

Every time you use the basic skills your child is learning in school, let them know. Let them see you using math to make your monthly budget or bake or write out e-mails. Let them know that education is not just important as an achievement, but is actually useful in the real world.

Be Interested

Bring up your child’s studies in everyday conversations, check up on them to see how they are doing, share your opinions on the content of their study, take some time out to read with them. Be involved in school activities and volunteer if possible. By showing interest, you impress on your child that learning can be an enjoyable and social activity too.

Discuss Assignments

Help your child with a few initial ideas or point them to relevant resources while preparing for an assignment. Make sure they’re clear on what they have to do and how they’re going to do it.

Supervise

When you monitor your child’s work, they’re much more likely to complete it successfully. Monitor the completion, rather than perfection in content of the work, because it’s important for your child’s teacher to know how well your child can do the homework on their own. Be available to your child if they need your help.

Be in the Loop

Ask your child’s teacher what their policy on homework is, and what rules and guidelines students are expected to follow. It’s important to get this straight from the teacher rather than via your child.

Encourage Time Management and Revision

Teach your child how to schedule enough time for practise tests and avoid cramming. Pass on your own experience with studying and help them follow these habits.

Support Them When Under Pressure

When your child is preparing for a particularly gruelling test or working on an important assignment, be there if they’re having trouble dealing with the pressure. Give them advice on reading instructions carefully and keeping track of time. Watch out for frustration and be sure to hand out praise and encouragement when they need motivation.

References

(n.d.). Helping Your Child Succeed in School - U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/succeed/succeed.pdf

(n.d.). Helping Your Child Succeed in School - U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/succeed/succeed.pdf

(n.d.). How to Help Kids With Homework (Without Doing It for Them!) | Parents. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from http://www.parents.com/kids/education/homework/how-to-help-kids-with-homework-without-doing-it-for-them/

(2012, November 19). YouGov | Homework: Should parents help their children, or not?. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from https://yougov.co.uk/news/2012/11/19/homework-should-children-get-help-their-parents-or/

(2015, November 21). Ten Tips for Your Child's Success in School - HealthyChildren.org. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/school/Pages/Ten-Tips-for-Your-Childs-Success-in-School.aspx

(n.d.). Helping Your Child Do Well in School - NEA. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/50251_NEA.pdf


If you, or anyone you know, is having trouble helping your children with academics, don't hesitate to reach out to us. An InnerHour therapist can help you.






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