How to help your kids with homework… without getting too involved
MADISON, Wis. — Homework doesn’t have to be horrible… for you or your kids! That’s the message from the Department of Education a couple of weeks into the new school year. Now, educators are sharing some simple ways you can help your kids with their homework without helping them too much.
1. Adapt to your son or daughter’s learning style. Some kids will come home and want to finish their work right away; others may want time to relax. Remember there’s not one “right way.” Whenever your child chooses to do his or her homework, make that a routine.
2. Develop homework habits. Parents should not only help their kids establish a definitive time to do homework, but a place to get it done. Get your child involved in that process. If they feel like they have a say, educators believe they’ll be more likely to stick to your plan.
3. Keep track of due dates. Find out what your student is working on each day, how long they think the assignment will take to finish, and when it’s due. High schools often post this information online, while many elementary schools still send out paper calendars.
4. Know when to back off. There is such a thing as too much parental involvement, according to the Department of Education. Parents can help steer their kids in the right direction, but you should also make sure your son or daughter is completing the assignments and learning the material themselves.
5. Encourage your child to ask for help. It can be tough to watch your kids struggle, but educators believe that’s often when they learn the most. If your child doesn’t understand the material, encourage them to ask their teacher for help before or after class.
6. Take breaks. Educators say it’s not realistic to expect students will spend hours on homework after a long day at school, so encourage them to break it up: spend a half hour on one part, then go outside to get fresh air. When they finish another section, have them grab a snack.
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