Helping Your Child with Homework

These are some of the essential ingredients for any family to make sure that the children are able to complete their homework in time and the idea of doing homework doesn’t make them anxious.

Time Management

It is vital that the parents establish a time-based routine from the early age stages of a child’s life. There should be a set pattern devoted to both doing homework and playing outdoors and helping out with house chores. Planning the weekend is very useful. This is a time when the child has more time than on school days. The weekend could be sued to catch upon pending assignments and for planning ahead the school week. Similarly, if the child has been studying very hard during the weekdays, the weekends should be used to ensure that he is fresh and ready for the week ahead.

Right Attitude

A child as young as someone in the first grade needs to understand that doing homework isn’t a matter a choice rather it is an absolute necessity. This may require the parents to behave a bit stricter than they usually are, but once this idea is set in the child’s psychology it seldom requires the parents to explain it again. This one-time effort is essential to make sure that the child looks upon completing his school assignments as a part of his daily routine and not as a predicament.

Encouraging a Struggling Child

Some children have more difficulty in getting used to sitting down in a place and studying and completing their homework. For such children, the parents have to exhibit how easy it is to concentrate. For this, if the child is facing difficulty in reading for more than a few minutes, the parents should sit down with him and they should read together. If the child complains about too much homework, help him out and tell him that he is not alone in this.

‘Helping-out’ with Homework

The parents should be careful and not get over-involved with the child’s studies. They are supposed to provide guidance and not answers for school assignment.

Importance of Homework

If a child is watching TV beyond the regular, stipulated hours - tell him so and discourage the child to do such an act again. Make sure that the child is not making casual telephone calls during the homework time. But a call to a classmate about an assignment should be acceptable. Children need to realise that the family members too agree with the importance of completing assignments. If the family has to occasionally let go of an outing or a visit to the mall to accommodate homework time, they should do so. This reminds the child of the small sacrifices the family is making for his education.

Setting up a Schedule

The child should be used to a regular time to complete his homework. This helps a child to finish assignments in time and still have enough time to play. A good study schedule should work for the child and the family. A schedule that works well in one family unit may not work in another. Making the child complete the homework just before bedtime is always a bad idea.

This decreases the probability of the child recognizing its importance. Other activities including playing a sport or getting music lessons too should be flexible with respect to the homework schedule. If sometimes there isn’t enough time to finish assignments, the child shouldn’t mind cancelling out one of the outside activities.

Creating the Right Environment

One of the most important requirements for studying at home is the right place to study. Placing a simple desk and chair in a quiet place is usually good enough. The place should be well lit, preferably with a good amount of natural light and ventilation and should be away from distractions like television or music.

Getting the Child Involved

Simple resources like a pencil, pen, paper and supplies of glue and scissors should be kept handy. Try and shop for such goods with the child. The child begins to associate the importance of homework and the ‘fun’ quotient of doing schoolwork is increased when he shops for his favourite geometry set or the latest brand of coloured pencils.