Take note of these practical homework help tips from an experienced dad!
Let’s accept a reality of life, fellow parents: We didn’t like homework when we were kids so it’s probably reasonable not to expect our kids to do so too. Right?
However, homework — even if it’s not well-liked — is something that our children will have to deal with. We all know how challenging it is to actually do so though, so here are some tips on how we can give our kids the homework help they need:
1. Set a regular schedule for study time
Establish a regular study schedule that must be strictly followed. It could be any time before or after dinner (or whatever works for you and your child).
Once this has been established, stick with the routine. Study time means a regular time for studying (reviewing the day’s lessons, or advanced reading… or doing the ‘dreaded’ homework).
A regular study time means your kid has to sit down and study his lessons — whether he has an assignment or not. When a regular (preferably daily) study routine is established, you no longer have to worry if your child will do his homework or not, as it will become ‘automatic’ for him to do so.
2. Give him his own study area
It does not matter whether the designated study area is the family dining table or a fancy study table from one of those glossy Ikea catalogues. What is important is that the child gets his own peaceful corner where he can concentrate on his work.
Once you’ve chosen your child’s study area, make sure everyone at home understands that they have to cooperate and try not to disturb him while he’s there. Be ready to provide homework help when he needs it.
3. No TV, no distractions
During your child’s homework time, limit your family’s activities as well. Your child might feel he is missing out on what the rest of the family is enjoying if the rest of you are playing, laughing, having fun, or watching TV, while he’s doing something he doesn’t like doing (i.e. his homework).
Preferably, this should be a family commitment — no distractions while someone has to finish an important task.
Alternatively, your child’s study time could also be your time to do your own ‘quiet’ activities like reading or work-related tasks. Again, give him the homework help he needs when appropriate.
4. Guide him without doing his work for him
You may be tempted to simply do your child’s homework for him to save him and everyone else the trouble but don’t. Instead, ask him which subjects or areas he finds most difficult, or what he needs help with.
Tutor him every now and then but don’t make him dependent on you. My wife, in her eagerness to help our son, actually made this mistake, so our son ended up not being able to study without his mom beside him.
5. Impart in your child the value of “Studying hard vs. Being intelligent”
One of the main reasons a child may not feel so compelled to study is his belief that he is intelligent. While it is easy for us parents to praise our kids for their intelligence, try to resist the temptation.
Instead, I would strongly recommend that you instill in your child the value of diligence and studiousness. When he gets good grades, praise him for working hard.
A child may be intelligent but if he does not regularly study his lessons – and doesn’t do his homework – he is bound to fail.
In short, the trick to getting homework done is to create a routine and a system that your child can easily follow and observe as a regular part of his daily activities, and to be aware when you, as a parent, really need to give your child homework help.
What kind of homework help tips do YOU have to share with us? Let us know by leaving a comment!