Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to Give Homework Help to a Child (For Parents)

Does your child get frustrated with their homework quite often? Are you not sure how to help them? I teach fourth grade, and these are tips I give parents who are not sure how to help kids with their homework.



Ask your child's teacher.
Every teacher is different just like every parent is different. Your child's teacher may have expectations that differ from mine. Your goal is to make sure your child is meeting HER expectations.

Learn how assignments are recorded in class.
Does your child's teacher distribute assignment sheets daily or weekly so you know what your child needs to do? Does the school provide notebooks where assignments are to be copied by the children? Find out the system, and ask your child to look at the assignments. If the school does not provide an assignment notebook, it might be helpful to provide him or her with one.

Find out how often and how much homework is supposed to be assigned.
Knowing the homework policy will help you keep tabs on the amount of effort your child needs to put into their work to meet the expectations of the school. Some schools assign homework every night. If this is the case, but your child tells you "I don't have any homework tonight," on more than one occasion, check in with the teacher to see if your child is missing any work. It's better to work this out after a week than to find out on the report card about missing work.

Help your child create a homework routine.
You can help your child get into a routine habit of completing their homework by setting a consistent time when they start it. This might be right after school, after an extra-curricular activity, or after dinner. You can create this schedule with your child to help him or her feel more responsible. Some children are able to tell you that they need a break after school, or just want to “get it over with” right after school, or that their single favorite show is on at a certain time so they’d like to start it after.

Enforce good homework habits.
You can help your child focus on their homework by providing a quiet, well lit, comfortable study area with paper, pencils, and a dictionary. Hannah Montana rarely contributes to homework research, so the TV is best left off. :) Some children benefit from taking a snack or water break after 20 minutes of work.

Be hands-on.
Some children need more parental assistance with homework than other children. If your child completes they work with minimal coaxing, check completed assignments. If your child needs help starting work, look at homework assignments in the agenda with your child. Read directions on worksheets or the textbook page. If your child is has questions about how to start, do two problems or questions together, (as long as your child's teacher allows this!) then observe your child doing the next one or two. Praise your child's efforts. If questions arise about the assignments, and your child asks for help, ask him or her questions or work through an example rather than simply providing the answer. By releasing responsibility, you will help your child be successful, as well as allow them to become more independent.

Make your child's teacher aware of frustration or confusion.
For some kids, saying "I don't understand" or "I need help" is intimidating, and sometimes they just don't know how to ask for help. Write the teacher a note on the attempted assignment to let her know it was difficult. The more specific you are, the better the teacher can assist your child.

Make sure the assignment is packed and ready to be handed in!
Make sure your child's name is on the paper. Also, make sure that the assignment is packed in the school bag along with related books and notebooks as soon as homework is done. It's embarrassing for a child to tell their teacher "I forgot my paper at home" because they left it on the kitchen table. Packing the night before prevents forgetting in in the confusion of the morning rush.

Make Ups
Find out your school's policies about handing in late work, as well as obtaining and handing in homework in the event of an absence.

Ask to look at homework once it has been marked and returned.
This lets your child know that you care about how much they learned. Keep in mind that assignments may not be returned the next day, but most teachers do give assignments back on a regular basis; the papers don't just disappear.

Be consistent.
Asking your child specifics about homework (such as asking to see the assignment sheets and asking to see completed work) does more than show that you care about homework. It also shows them that starting, doing, completing, and submitting homework is a process. Following the process each night will help your child be more successful practicing the skills he or she learned in class.  Good luck!

1 comment :

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