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How to help your child with homework

Six tips for helping your child study at home.

GreatSchools Blog

By GreatSchools Staff

Here are ways to best help your child when she’s doing homework:

1) Have your child settle into a good study space.

You might hear differently, but children don’t need one special place to do homework every day. In fact, some kids do well studying in different spots: the kitchen or dining room table, a desk in their room, or even a cozy couch. As long as the space is comfortable and your child is able to get work done, it’s a good place.

2) Help your child focus.

Keep the homework area quiet, with TVs and cell phones off. (Some kids actually do focus better when listening to music. If you play music, pick something instrumental, with no distracting vocals, and don’t let your child crank up the volume.) If brothers or sisters are playing nearby, or other family members are talking so your child loses focus, ask them to go to a different area of the house — or let your student wear earphones .

3) Keep school supplies close at hand.

Keep basic school supplies in one easy-to-find spot in the house. Here are the basics your child needs: lined paper, pencils, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, a glue stick, a stapler, and a kids’ dictionary.

4) Set up a regular time for homework.

As best you can, have your child do homework at about the same time every day, after school or in the early evening. For young children, knowing when to expect “homework time” — just like dinnertime or bedtime — helps them get into a routine and stick with it.

5) Stay close by while your child does homework.

Young children focus better when a grown-up is close by. You’re not there to give answers. But you can help by reading homework instructions together and making sure your child understands what she’s supposed to do. Having you nearby also lets your child know you care about her work.

6) Review the work when your child says he’s finished.

Make sure your child has completed his homework. If you see he’s made mistakes, have him correct them. But don’t give the answer! Let him know he made an error and ask what he needs to do to fix it. Don’t assume that’s the teacher’s job. With up to 30 students, a teacher might be checking the homework, but he or she can’t give your child as much attention as you can.


 

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

02/22/2011:
"I have to agree 100% My children seem to do better when they wash their hands,eat a snack & do homework. They play or read a book,Then they get a belly full from dinner. Then its shower time.Then the best time of the day,is FAMILY TIME.We sit and talk about what happened in each others day.sometimes we color or play the WII or just sit or lay around LIKE FAT RATS!!! LMAO "
02/21/2011:
"I have to agree 100% My children seem to do better when they wash their hands,eat a snack & do homework. They play or read a book,Then they get a belly full from dinner. Then its shower time.Then the best time of the day,is FAMILY TIME.We sit and talk about what happened in each others day.sometimes we color or play the WII or just sit or lay around LIKE FAT RATS!!! LMAO "
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