It doesn’t matter if my children are in college or elementary school, I still get to help the with their homework. Having worked in education and helped with homework for about 20 years I’ve found that there are a few ways to make homework easier for you and your children.
Be organized and prepared. When you do your back to school shopping be sure to pick up some extra supplies for home. You never know when you will need a pad of paper, pencils, glue or notecards. Even poster board can be bought in advance and kept on hand. I even keep things on hand like stickers, foam pieces and other craft supplies because you never know when you have to pull together a quick project. Being organized and prepared has been a life saver for me more than once.
Set a schedule. With busy schedules and after school extracurricular activities it may seem like there is no time for homework. In our household the kids get thirty minutes of down time when they get home. They can be on the computer, the Wii, play outside or whatever they want to do but when the time is up it’s time for homework. Every family is different, so find out what works for you. After dinner is sometimes a good time too because everyone is happy and well-fed, no stopping for snacks.
There is a time and a place. Create a place for your child to study and do their homework. It should be the same place every day and have all their supplies handy. This way there is no lost time looking for where to go AND for what to do when it comes to their homework.
A for attitude. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the schedule and a stack of homework. If you act like it’s too much, too hard or there isn’t enough time, your children will too.
Reach for resources. As much as we hate to admit it we don’t know everything. Do you really remember how to cite a source correctly and know all the changes that have been recently made to “AP Style” writing? StudyMode is a one stop research resource shop for kids kindergarten to college. It offers a selection of book and chapter notes from popular stories that you child will most likely need to write papers about. They and you can look at quality samples of papers to get an idea of how they should be organized, find professional AP notes and book notes and create easy cite references with a cite generator (which honestly I don’t even like to do!). I think it is honestly my favorite feature of this website, because not only does it teach children to give credit where credit is due, but the correct way to do it.
Delete distractions. No Facebook, chatting, cell phones or texting until the homework is done, unless of course they need to call a friend for some help, directions or collaboration. That sometimes means keeping siblings away, which last year was a real struggle for us because the youngest daughter wanted to be included. She may get more than she wished for as she heads to Kindergarten this year!
Help don’t hover. As a parent you may want to “hang around” while your child is doing homework and while positive encouragement is great as well as clarification and guidance, but make sure you don’t hover over your child as they do homework. Give them opportunities to figure it out.
It may take a few weeks to get back into the swing of studying, but it doesn’t have to turn into a whole lot of work.
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Disclosure: A portion of this post was compensated, however all opinions expressed are my own.