Helping your child with Homework: To do or not to do
Homework is unavoidable once your child reaches grade school. It would be the first time that your child experiences homework, and hence, it can get a little overwhelming. However, homework is essential to extend knowledge beyond the classroom and trains your child to be an independent learner.
Homework teaches your child to read and follow instructions independently, manages time, completes work with the best of his or her abilities and gives him or her a sense of responsibility. It also serves to train your child to take pride in a job well-done and to instil a healthy work ethic for the future.
On the flip side, homework gives stress to the children when it is in excess, and with grade schoolers having multiple teachers, it can become a problem at times when different teachers give homework on the same day.
How can you help your child?
Parents can get involved with their children’s homework beyond asking them if they have completed the work or checking if the work is done correctly. What can you do to help, you ask? Well, here are some tips.
Setting up the environment
It is vital to set up the right environment for your child to tackle his or her homework positively. If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may want to encourage your younger child to choose a workspace that is near to where you will be. It could be the kitchen table, or the living room area. If you are working on tasks in the living room, set up a small workstation where your child can do his or her work. The proximity will keep them comfortable and give you the perfect opportunity to provide suitable encouragement and assistance.
Older children may want to tackle their homework in their rooms. If you have an older child who prefers to do homework in his or her room, do pop in to see how they are doing from time to time. They may need help, and by doing so, you show them that you care about what they are doing.
Be the support that your child needs
There are many ways to support your child when he or she is doing homework. Support does not mean sitting next to them and telling them the correct answer to every question. Support can come in the form of guidance, answering questions, interpreting assignment questions, and reviewing the complete work. It also entails reinforcing the right attitude and study habits that will help your child in future. Hence, focusing on problem-solving skills, reading ability, and mathematical skills are all crucial.
Set up a routine
Children strive on routines, so help your child by establishing a routine for him or her. Set up a time when your child needs to sit down for homework. Send the message that homework is a top priority with strict rules of having no TV or video games before homework is done and checked.
Teaching workload management
When your child gets a heavy workload, it is crucial to help him, or her prioritise the homework session. Teach your child to take stock of his or her homework load and what it involves so that a strategy can be created. Some kids prefer to tackle the most difficult assignments and leave the easy ones to the last. Other kids prefer to do the most straightforward tasks first before tackling the harder ones. By understanding your child’s preferences, you can help him or her approach homework in a neutral manner. It works wonder to remove the stress from doing homework. Workload management also entails taking a break. If your child is getting tired or feeling stress, encourage him or her to take a break before continuing the homework with a refreshed mind and energy.
Relating homework to the “real world”
To keep your child interested in his or her homework, it is vital to talk about how the homework relates to the “real world”. By showing him or her that the learning is applicable outside the classroom, it enhances the eagerness to learn. For a start, you can highlight the importance of meeting a deadline or sharing how learning mathematics is useful for paying the bills.
Resolving homework issues
Finally, it is vital for you as a parent, to help your child resolve homework issues. Such problems are common, and there are a few ways that you can help. Besides helping them to understand the assignment, you can teach your child healthy study habits such as using flashcards or making notes. If they ask for help explicitly, ensure that you are there to help. If you are not sure how the homework should be done, encourage your child to reach out to the teachers to ask for clarifications.
Homework can be tricky, but don’t let it overwhelm your child. It doesn’t have to be painful as long as you are there to guide your child to do the best that he or she can.