How to Be the Best Homework Helper Possible
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There are many benefits to helping your kids with their homework: spending quality time together, helping them learn tough subjects, showing them your support and even brushing up on some skills yourself. Here are our tips to making the most out of this experience.
Manage your time. Set aside a specific chunk when you're not unpacking groceries or clearing up from dinner to sit down with your child. Be as devoted to helping them in that time as possible without checking your phone. 30 minutes of uninterrupted support is more beneficial than an hour of absent-minded help.
Be patient. The purpose of homework is to ingrain knowledge in the student through application and repetition. Rushing into finding a solution or figuring it out for them isn't useful. Instead, ask questions to help them get to the solution on their own or ask them to explain an answer to you.
Be open to learning. There's a good chance that the school curriculum has changed since you last learned it. Your child will have more success on their tests if they learn the concepts the same way they were taught to them by their teacher and through their textbooks. If the methods you were taught differ, try to learn the new approach with your child instead of insisting they use your method. Students often get points for showing their work which should be consistent with in-class learning.
Monitor their efforts. It’s a good idea to ask your child’s teachers how much time they believe their students should be spending on homework. If you notice your child operating way above or below this time frame, talk to their teachers about better ways to manage their after school time. If your child is exhausted from late nights of homework they won’t perform well the next day. If they take much less time with their homework than predicted this could be a sign that they are either very comfortable with the information or that they aren’t fully grasping the subjects and rushing through them.
Not every parent has the opportunity to spend hours on their child’s homework with them. The key to this is quality over quantity. Even if you can only give them 10 minutes at bed time, use it to ask about what they learned at school that day and plan a time where your child can teach you a bit about their subjects. Showing a genuine interest in their studies is the most important thing you can do.