5 tips for helping your child with schoolwork

October 13, 2015

Following these tips can help your child improve his or her progress in school and properly complete homework. Although it will take effort on your part, the results will be more than worth it.

5 tips for helping your child with schoolwork

1. Strike the right balance

  • Helping your child is of paramount importance, but it's important that you don't go overboard. Providing too much assistance can harm your child's learning process. Children must understand the subject matter they're studying on their own, which is why it's important that you don't simply do the work for them.
  • At the same time, you want to be actively engaged in your child's schoolwork, which can involve reviewing answers to make sure your child understands the work. You may have to closely supervise kids as young as 5 or 6, but older children should be doing their homework on their own. Ultimately, you don't want to just give your children an answer, but help them understand how they can find the answer.

2. Create a game plan

  • Every school year, examine the homework problems you encountered during the previous year. If you had to nag your child to do homework, think about building an incentive system involving small presents or favourite treats.
  • Speak to your child about the goals you expect him or her to accomplish and outline them before the school year begins. Creating goals can stem problems before they arise. Build your plan around your child's weak areas. For example, spend extra time on reading assignments if he or she struggles in that area.

3. Keep in touch with teachers

  • It's important to communicate with teachers about your child's progress. If learn that your child forgets to complete homework, make sure there are consequences, such as losing certain privileges if he or she misses more than one assignment. It may seem tough, but you'll be helping your kid in the long-term.

4. Help your child focus

  • There are more distractions than ever for children. Your child may have trouble finding the motivation to start homework, especially when smartphones, video games and the computer seem like more fun.
  • Parents sometimes need to step in and even take the drastic step of restricting the use of anything with a screen until after homework is completed. Of course, breaks are necessary for your child, but make sure they're spent eating a healthy snack or getting a little exercise instead of plopping down in front of a TV.

5. Get outside help

  • If you notice your child is struggling or a teacher informs you that your child is falling behind in a subject, don't hesitate to ask about after school tutoring programs and hire a reputable tutor, if possible.
  • Feel free to ask teachers if they have any recommendations for tutors or can suggest an online tutoring website.
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