Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tips on the Right Way to Help Kids with Homework

Of course parents want their kids to excel in school – but how does this impact homework? Ideally there is an effective middle ground between filling out all the answers for students and leaving them entirely to their own designs without any correction. Finding that middle ground can be a daily challenge, especially as homework changes over time. Here are several tips to help kids really learn, no matter what materials they bring home…or what grade level they are working at.

Encourage Independence

One of the most important skills that homework teaches is independence. When a student wrestles through a problem or assignment and completes it on their own, they often learn more from it than when someone holds their hand. Answering questions is still a great way to help out your kids, but pull back from the helicoptering approach – it can do more harm than good. If your student is showing independent thought and action, complement them on it before you start working on the details.

Don’t Put Too Much Focus on Homework Materials

There’s a growing debate about how much good homework actually does. Education experts have said thathomework really doesn’t do that much good. Now, printing out the research and showing it to a teacher probably won’t change your kid’s homework levels, but it does show the important of keeping an eye on the broad goals. Keep in mind this is an effect primarily noted in primary school and younger grades. Homework becomes very important for education as students near high school, but for younger kids it is primarily important that they learn initiative and confidence in their own education skills.

Create a Space

Set parameters when it comes to homework. Students don’t do well with any nearby distractions. Turn off the TV when there’s homework to do. Make rules against social media and texting, and keep them. Create a specific time of day for homeschool work. Your approach to music could depend on individual circumstances, but music generally doesn’t seem to hurt the quality of dedicated homework time. You may also want to create a set-aside common space for homework to make things easier for multiple kids.

Don’t Talk about What You Don’t Know

This can be difficult for tutors and parents, but it’s important – don’t give your kids advice about areas you aren’t qualified to teach. Of course there are lots of gray areas involved in this, but as a general rule, understand that you shouldn’t start talking about things you don’t know or have forgotten. This is particularly important when students reach higher levels of mathematics and similar subjects. Knowledge isn’t always something that you can just dust off – and there’s nothing wrong with admitting you don’t know how to help your kid on an assignment. It may, however, be a sign that it’s time to consider a qualified Mathnasium tutor.

Use Different Approaches for Different Subjects

Don’t be afraid to adjust your homework approach for different subjects. Sometimes students can spend more or less time on a subject without getting burned out. Sometimes you need to read with your kids, sometimes you need to check over their answers for inconsistencies. In other words, be flexible when necessary.