written by: Margie
• edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• updated: 9/11/2012
Sometimes kids need help with homework. One of the most important things a parent can do to help is provide a routine and appropriate setting for kids to work.
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How to Help With Homework
Homework help for parents is vital because kids are more likely to experience success at school when their parents are involved with them academically. So, the more strategies you have, the better off you and your child will be!
Routine When it comes to getting homework done, routine is important. If your child knows what to expect, they will settle down and get to work more quickly. Of course, only you can determine your family’s routine regarding homework, but following are some suggestions to get you started as you provide help with homework:
Downtime After your kids have worked hard at school all day, they need just a little time to relax before hitting the books again. Give them some time to go out and play or just relax in front of the television for a little while. You know your kids and what helps them relax. The important thing to remember is to set a time limit and stick with it. Whether you decide to give them fifteen minutes or an hour, set a timer and when the timer buzzes, it’s time to work!
Snacks and Drink Provide snacks and drinks for your kids. If they have not had anything to eat or drink since lunch, they might have low blood sugar and/or be a little dehydrated. Both of these can make homework time miserable for everyone. Letting them snack on some fresh fruit or yogurt will improve everyone’s mood.
Tips To Get Started Teachers use various methods to get students seated and engaged in their work. It’s not always possible to tell your students, “Get to work," and have them immediately begin. Try this same technique at home as you help with homework. Experiment with different methods to get your kids involved with their homework with minimum fuss and wasted time.
Family Trivia Question Have homework begin with a family trivia question. You might ask them the date of mom and dad’s anniversary or the date of their grandmother’s birthday. While this does not get homework done, it engages them and gets their attention off the football game they had to quit or the texting they would like to be doing. You might want to give a small reward to the child who answers correctly first.
Play A Game You can play a quick game that your kids enjoy to get them settled. A quick game of Hangman or a 10 minute Scrabble game might be good options. Remember the goal here is to just get your kids settled and in the mind frame to get their homework done.
Electronics Off Require that cell phones and iPods be turned off. (Unless you think your child does better listening to music and some kids do.) Constantly checking to see who texted them will only stretch homework time into dinner time and your goal, of course, is to get homework finished!
Know Your Child Of course, you know your child best and what he or she needs. Your child may be perfectly capable of coming home, grabbing a snack, and getting their homework finished without you saying one word. In that case, you probably don’t need any of these strategies to help with homework time.
Stick With It Once you figure out a routine, stick with it. When kids know what to expect, everyone is more comfortable. These help with homework tips may not work immediately, but over time, they will.
Finally, "homework help for parents" may sound a little silly, but it's not! You are your child's strongest ally and biggest advocate. Knowing how to help your kids be successful with their homework will benefit your entire family.