Helping Your Kids With Their Homework

Helping your kids with their homework can be a daunting task that many times ends up with both in tears and screaming.  But you need to know that even if you are sending your kids off to school every day, you are still the largest factor that matters in their kids’ educational success.  It is estimated that 90% of the difference in schools’ proficiencies can be explained by 5 things:  1) The number of days that students attend school vs. are absent, 2)  How many hours your kids spend watching TV, 3)  The quantity and quality of reading material in the house, 4)  The number of pages read for homework AND 5) The presence of 2 parents in the home.

Consider your family to be a little school of its own.  Here are 10 ways you can help your kids with their homework (if they let you! ha, ha)

  1. School first:  Just like us parents, kids have busy schedules as well but schooling and more specifically  homework should always come before sports and social activities.  Education should be the NUMBER 1 priority.
  2.  Have a set time:  Structure for all of us, but kids especially, is important.  Have a specific time frame for them to get their homework done by.  Creating a regular routine, even if it has to revolve around sports or other extracurricular activities, will increase their productivity.
  3. Homework space at home:  Do you have a place in your house where your kids can work on their homework in a quiet and well – lit location?  Preparation is half the battle and so make sure that they have all the supplies needed and a workspace.
  4. Try to limit distractions:  I know this is easier said than done sometimes with a crying younger one roaming around the house, a dog nuzzling for attention not to mention cell phones, TV’s and video games.  Cell phones can be put away and TV’s turned off so that your child can concentrate on their homework properly.
  5. Organization:  Once the kids get to the higher grades and have multiple subjects and classes, it can be confusing.  Most schools have planners for their students and so make sure that your kid knows how to use them to organize and prioritize assignments.  Hunker down with them if they need help to create a solid game plan on how to attack their different subjects.
  6. Get involved:  Are you active in your child’s education?  Schools now offer online support so that you can check on their grades, homework assignments, missing assignments and overall progress.  Make sure that you check up on these frequently so that there aren’t big surprises!
  7. Be their cheerleader:  Give encouragement and show support.  We all remember how much we liked doing homework back in the day.  Not only are these kids at school all day but then they have to come home and some of these kids have HOURS of more work to do.  Feel free to reward great effort as well as great results.  What we are looking for is for our kids to give it their best.
  8. Provide guidance when needed:  Everyone gets stumped sometimes.  Make sure that resources are at hand that your kids need to get their work done.  What did we do before GOOGLE came along?
  9. Taking notes:  Taking good notes can be an art form.  Some kids think that they have to write EVERYTHING the teacher says down but really the outline – form of taking notes is the best.  Handwriting the notes instead of typing them hardwires them into the brain better.
  10. Study habits:  We need to instill strong study habits and work ethic into our children.  Projects and tests require a lot of planning.  We can provide tips and techniques that will bring the great results that are desired.