Okay, so now that we’ve gotten past the “first day of school” jitters and “back to school shopping” it’s time to pull up our bootstraps, buckle down and get going with the school year. Your child has settled into some semblance of a routine even if you haven’t, and it’s quite likely that they’re now tackling another reality of the school year: homework.
Yup, that’s right folks – homework, that dirty little word is being foisted upon our precious babies earlier and earlier each year, it seems. No longer the domain of the upper grades, parents of kids in grades one, two and three have been surprised with the handouts and take-home assignments that have been given to their children. The topic of homework for the younger kids is a whole other topic that I may tackle at a later date. For now, let’s focus on the task at hand – getting your child to complete his or her homework on time, regardless of their grade. Having a plan of action early in the school year will guarantee less stress for both parent and child, and greater overall success for the returning student.
Following are 6 Tips to Help You Get Your Child to Do Their Homework
1) Provide Them With Tools – First things first: make sure that your child has everything that they need to make their homework experience a good one. There’s nothing more frustrating or stressful for a child than not having the right tools to get the job done. Accordingly, it’s important that your child feels confident that they can complete their assignments without having to worry about not having the items required to complete the task. Parents can assure that their child is ready to go by checking the course outline and/or speaking to their child’s teacher about the class requirements at the start of the school year. Then, a decision about getting the right tools, including any books (required or at-home support texts) technology (will they require use of a computer or tablet?), notebooks and more can be made. Having these items at hand will make it easier for your child to feel confident and engaged that they can complete the task at hand.
2) Make it Fun – Homework doesn’t have to be a dirty word. By making it an engaging activity, your child will be more likely to be motivated and to excel in their studies. Consider some engagement during your child’s homework time that will motivate them to exceed. For example, why not make some of their learning a game, a la “20 Questions?” Or consider doing some math games with your child to keep them interested and focused.
3) A Dedicated Place – Knowing that your child has a designated spot in your home to complete their work will help them succeed. Make sure to carve out a a specific workspace for them so that they know that you’re in full support in helping them achieve. Whether it’s in their bedroom, at the kitchen or dining room table, or in another central location, having their own little nook will show them that you are behind them all the way in helping them excel.
4) Help Them – There will be times during the school year when it’s not all smooth sailing. When it comes to homework, your child will need your support and guidance in understanding and completing the tasks at hand. Children can often become anxious and unfocused if they feel that certain assignments are beyond their comprehension. Always be available to help them through their homework by being close by and accessible when they’re completing their work. As well, if financially viable, consider hiring a tutor and/or providing additional coursework supports to give your child additional help.
5) Know What They’re Doing – It’s critical that you know what your child is doing in class to be able to follow along with the provided assignments that are given at the end of each day. Make sure that you’re “in the know” about what your child is learning in school so that you’re better able to help them when they come to you for answers or help. A discussion with your child’s teacher and a regular review of the course outline will keep you ahead of the game and better prepared to assist when required.
6) Get Into The Routine - There’s a time and a place for everything and homework is no different. From the outset, kids should know that you take their success in completing their work as seriously as they should. Showing them this means that you’ve carved out a routine that focuses on a specific time and place for homework completion. It may be after school before they sit down in front of the TV or play games; it could be after dinner and before bathtime. You, as the parent know your child and family routine best and accordingly can plan when your child would be most efficient and effective in getting their work done. Remember – kids thrive on routine, so apply this fact to their homework completion as well.
So there you have it – some simple tips to help your kids along the route to educational success. By employing these simple tools, you’ll likely see a happier and more engaged student as well as stellar marks when report cards are sent home.
For more discussion about how to inspire your kids to do their homework, check out my appearance on Global News Morning Show on the topic.
VIDEO: How to Get Your Child to Do Their Homework
Image courtesy of //cloverleafschool.org