Top Ten Homework Tips and Strategies

Top Ten Homework Tips and Strategies

  1. Make sure your child has the physical space and support he or she needs. Set up a corner with an appropriate-sized chair and table, ample lighting and minimal distractions.  Some children do better in their own rooms and some do better in the hub of the house in the kitchen or family room.
  2. Have plenty of supplies – paper, pencils, pens, dictionaries etc. on hand. Help them organize their space with folders, shelves, labels, etc.  How you keep your home office is a good role modeling opportunity!
  3. Create a routine after school.  A snack, some exercise, some rest or social time is all very important for children, especially after they have been on their best behaviour all day.  Kids need lots of “growing time” and downtime. Try to schedule your own work or reading at the same time, so there is an atmosphere conducive to quiet time.
  4. Create some rules as to when and how much TV to watch.  The key here is to involve your child in the rule making and schedule.  It doesn’t have to be the same every night, depending on their extracurricular activities and sports and timing of their favourite shows.  Maybe they do watch some TV before doing their work, but get agreement beforehand as to what the time limit is.
  5. Act as a helper, guide, resource person or coach but don’t do your child’s homework for him. This only leads to major problems down the road.  He becomes discouraged and dependent and he doesn’t learn the work.  Not only that, but the teacher gets a false impression of your child’s capabilities.  Mistakes are okay!
  6. Do not insist on perfection – if children can do it perfectly, they aren’t learning much.
  7. Don’t make them do it over – this is the teacher’s job.
  8. Don’t even make them finish – if they have put in a good solid effort and run out of time, maybe the teacher assigned too much or maybe your child has had a bad day.
  9. Scolding and nagging don’t help in the long run.  Maintaining a calm, peaceful relationship with your child is much more productive.
  10. Praise and rewards are also detrimental, creating false expectations and a sense of entitlement.  Encourage effort, interest and the rewards of learning.

[Doone Estey writes for The Parenting Network. For more info and parenting classes please visit parentingnetwork.ca]

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What are your top homework  tips?  What’s  your biggest challenge?  Tell us  in the comment section below.

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