HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD WITH HOMEWORK? [from ericdigests.org]
First, avoid doing the homework yourself! Doing homework for a child sends a message that he or she is incapable of doing the work and that perfection is the main objective. It also denies your child the opportunity to develop skills and gain understanding from the experience. Remember, doing homework should help children plan, manage, and complete work on their own, Parents should be familiar with the school’s homework policy and help their children get the most out of homework by:
*Exhibiting a positive attitude in word and deed that homework is important and education comes first.
*Encouraging children to take notes about homework assignments when they are given.
*Discussing homework assignments with children to become familiar with what they are studying. Talk together about the topic of an essay before the child begins writing, and do short quizzes on the day before a test.
*Limiting after-school activities to allow time for homework and family activities.
*Limiting telephone use by agreeing ahead of time what will be allowed.
*Planning homework schedules and routines that allow some free time when assignments are completed. Make sure your child is well rested, not hungry, and has had time to wind down after school (Herold, 1999). Also, avoid scheduling homework right before bedtime when children will be too tired or feel pressured to finish by bedtime. For long-term projects, mark plans and deadlines on a calendar.
*Monitoring television and radio use. If there is a favorite show that comes on during scheduled study time, arrange to record the show if possible.
*Doing some assignments or questions together with a child when he or she asks for help. Sometimes children need help in learning how to break large assignments down into manageable pieces.
*Staying nearby-reading, writing, studying or catching up on paperwork. Be available to help if asked, but avoid imposing your help or way of doing something.
*Checking completed assignments, and reviewing homework that has been marked and returned. Avoid negative comments, but contact the teacher if your child consistently gets 25% or more wrong on homework problems and assignments, or if he or she never seems to have any homework (Shore, 1999).
*Providing children with convenient, quiet, and comfortable work areas that are well-lit , free of family traffic, and have the materials needed to complete assignments. Some people do study better with music or background noise, so try to accommodate your child’s preferred learning style.
*Encouraging the use of reference materials (such as dictionaries and encyclopedias), and providing a computer and calculator if possible.
And you know, of course, where to find the best reference materials…Usborne!
Illustrated Dictionary, Illustrated Thesaurus, Illustrated Dictionaries of Math
Illustrated Dictionary of Physics, Chemistry, or Biology
Encyclopedia of Science, World History, Ancient History, Geography, etc.