You probably thought that you were done with homework once you graduated from school, but now that you are a parent, you have probably found out that is wrong.
Whether it is some simple addition, writing a poem, or completing a science project, kids have all sorts of homework that they need to accomplish. While some kids can handle the workload easily, others may struggle to focus or complete their coursework.
This is where you come in. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to assist your kids in this process by making sure they have all the resources they need to be successful both while they are doing their homework, but also after when they will be tested on their skills later.
Here are tips for being involved in your child’s homework!
Set Up Specific Homework Time
One thing that many parents don’t do is set up a specific time when homework needs to be completed. Kids thrive when they have structure and that should not change once they leave school for the day.
The best time to do this is right when your child arrives home from school. It is good to have them accomplish these tasks right when the information is fresh and before they end up relaxed on the couch. I don’t know about you, but once I start to relax, it is much harder for me to get motivated again. The same goes for our kids!
On days that their workload is larger, make sure they can take some breaks from time to time to avoid burning out. On days with limited work, still have them use that time to do something productive like chores, reading a book, or something else related to knowledge. Holding that time firm allows you to not break routine and make things easier day after day.
Remember that it is THEIR homework, not YOURS
It is natural for parents to want to assist their children when they struggle. We all do it! That is why it is so hard to remember that your kids’ homework is theirs to do, not yours.
What your role should be when your child struggles with their homework is their support system. Watch them as they try to problem solve and offer an ear as they try to work it out. Sense when it is time for them to walk away from whatever problem they are facing to go outside in order to refresh their mind.
Ultimately, if it does get to the point where they really do need your help, assist them in a way where you can explain how you got your answer so they can learn for themselves next time!
Again, your role as a parent is to help your child HOW to learn. You do this by showing them the best ways to solve a problem, manage their emotions, and stick with something even if it is hard.
Just Be There
No one likes doing anything alone, and that includes doing homework.
All the things we mentioned above do require one thing… that you are there.
I know it seems like such a simple thing, but it truly could make the biggest difference in whether or not your child is thriving in school. Even if you are not actively helping your child with their homework at the time, just being somewhere in the area that they are trying to do homework can give them a sense of security and let them know that you are ready to help whenever you need to.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to hover. Get some work done yourself, do something around the house, or even get dinner started, but just make sure that your child knows that you are available to help when needed.
One important thing to remember though is that you need to not be a distraction. While moving around the area is fine, asking them questions related to school work, making a ton of noise, or doing something else that might distract them is not.
It’s ok to look over their work, but don’t just fix things
Once the homework is done, it is totally fine if you want to run over things with your kids before it gets turned in the next day. What is not ok is just fixing all their problems for them!
Part of education is making mistakes. In order for kids to learn, sometimes they need to make mistakes and then learn from them. How can they do that if you just correct that math problem or change the spelling of a word? You and your child should review their work together so they can see where they went wrong and see how to avoid it next time.
Homework is a necessary part of education, no matter how un-fun it is. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure your child has everything they need to successfully complete their coursework, learn effectively, and create good habits that will last them a lifetime. By using these tips, we hope that homework time will become much easier and your child will start to thrive in the work they need to ring home every night.