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Homework Tips for Parents

Why homework?

Homework can:

  1. Improve your child's thinking and memory;
  2. Help your child develop good study skills;
  3. Encourage your child to use time wisely;
  4. Teach your child to work independently or in groups; and,
  5. Teach your child to take responsibility for his or her work.
The following homework tips will help your child establish the study habits your child will need to be successful in high school and college

Make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit place to do homework.

Avoid having your child do homework with the television on or in places with other distractions, such as people coming and going. Regulate social telephone calls and computer usage.

Make sure the materials your child needs, such as paper, pencil and a dictionary, are available.

Ask your child if special materials will be needed for projects and get them in advance. Additional supplies your child may need include: stapler, paper clips, maps, pencil sharpener, tape, glue, ruler, index cards, flash cards, etc.

Help your child with time management.

Establish a set time each day for doing homework. Do not let your child leave homework until just before bedtime. Use weekend mornings or afternoons for working on big projects, especially if the project involves getting together with classmates.

Be positive about homework.

Tell your child how important school is. The attitude you express about homework will be the attitude your child acquires. Show your child by your behavior that you think an education and homework are important.

When your child does homework, you do homework.

Show your child that the skills they are learning are related to things you do as an adult. If your child is reading, you read too. If your child is doing math, balance your checkbook. Talk to your child about what you do at work.

When your child asks for help, provide guidance, not answers.

Giving answers means your child will not learn the material. Too much help teaches your child that when the going gets rough, someone will do the work for him.

When the teacher asks that you play a role in homework, do it.

Cooperate with the teacher. It shows your child that the school and home are a team. Follow directions given by the teacher.

If homework is meant to be done by your child alone, stay away.

Too much parent involvement can prevent homework from having positive effects. Homework is a great way for kids to develop independent, lifelong learning skills.

Stay informed.

Talk with your child’s teacher. Make sure you know the purpose of homework and what your child’s class rules are.

Help your child figure out what is hard homework and what is easy homework.

Have your child do the hard work first. This will mean he/she will be most alert when facing the biggest challenges. Easy material will seem to go fast when fatigue begins to set in.

Watch your child for signs of failure or fatigue.

Let your child take a short break if she is having trouble keeping their mind on an assignment.

Reward progress in homework.

If your child has been successful in homework completion and is working hard, celebrate that success with a special event (pizza, a walk, a trip or time with friends).

Talk about school and learning activities in family conversations.

Ask your child what was discussed in class that day. Talk to your child about what he or she sees and hears when you are together.

Attend school activities.

Consider volunteering for special events, school council or parent organizations.

Look over completed assignments and read teacher's comments on graded homework.