As your student becomes increasingly independent in school and his or her homework becomes more difficult and involved, perhaps you’ve wondered how your role in homework time should evolve, too.
“Many parents are uncertain about how much they should help their children with homework, or feel that they’re unable to assist them appropriately,” says Melissa Guerrero of the McKinney Huntington Learning Center. “However, there are many simple things parents can do to help their children without overstepping their role.”
Guerrero offers these tips to help your child during homework time:
1) Help establish an organizational system and homework spot. From an early age, teach your child to keep an organized homework space or desk equipped with the supplies he or she needs. Encourage your child to tidy up this space at the end of every homework session so it is always easy to dive into homework quickly.
2) Work on a homework routine. Establish homework time as an important part of your child’s nightly schedule and help him or her manage his or her study time wisely. Be supportive of the homework routine, too. Don’t watch television while your child tries to study at the kitchen table or be unavailable for questions during your young student’s homework hour.
3) Be on hand for questions. Even at an older age, your child may need help interpreting homework directions or want feedback on his or her work. Effective parental monitoring requires understanding your child, too. The self-starter who understands class work easily may need less hand-holding, while a child who is less responsible about homework may have many questions and need extra support in becoming an independent student.
4) Teach problem-solving. No matter the subject, if a student knows how to think critically, identifies areas where he or she doesn’t understand something, and breaks down complex problems or tasks into simpler ones, homework time will be a much more gratifying process. Help your child think through homework by asking questions and having him or her explain concepts or problems to you.
5) Give positive, specific feedback. Let your child know the value you place on school and homework, and celebrate his or her milestones and successes. Compliment hard work. Point out a job well done, a clean desk, the acquisition of a new skill. Frequent encouragement is important to build students’ self-esteem and work ethic.
For more information about Huntington Learning Center, contact Melissa Guerrero or Kerry Modawell, Huntington Learning Center of McKinney , at 972-369-0074.