For many different ages of children, parental involvement in homework is an important part of school. Kids from preschool on up will often require your help, in everything from simple to more complex areas.
At Smart Kids Development Center, we encourage positive study habits and parental involvement in homework completion. What are some tactics you as a parent can take to continue strong habits after school is out? Let’s take a look.
If there are no afternoon activities planned for a given day, set a time frame during which it’s homework time. This gives the child some control over their schedule – the only hard rule here is that homework must be started at some point within the time frame, and must be completed before they can move on. This allows the child to get the work done before they start to get hungry or run out of energy, and you can just review things once they’ve wrapped up if appropriate.
Kids aren’t going to get every concept right away, and when they’re confused, they may feel stupid and start to shut down. But you can short-circuit this – sit down with them and help figure out the problem together. This can jog their memory, plus present an opportunity for praise when they get it right, and they’ll be more confident heading into the next one.
If your child is having trouble, find a go-to location change that they’re comfortable with. Maybe they get to use dad’s office for a particularly tough problem, or another area that’s helped them focus before. This can become a consistent motivator when necessary.
For the whiny child who wants to drag things out and get your attention, leaving the room can be the proper tactic. Once they see that you aren’t giving in and allowing them to distract themselves from the task at hand, they’ll be incentivized to get down to business.
Frustration with homework and workload can be real for kids at times, and there are moments where they need your empathy. Agree that it’s a lot of work, and state their feelings back to them (“You sound upset”). Once a child feels understood, they’ll be more willing to accept suggestions.
Interested in learning more about homework assistance patterns, or any of our child care programs? The educators at Smart Kids Development Center are standing by.