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When you help a child with their homework, you need to first realize that you do not necessarily need to tell them what to do. Nor do you need to understand the concepts they are learning. You can work with them in lieu of for them and ensure they still learn from the process and are able to complete their assignments.

  1. It is important that you first acknowledge to the child that not knowing what to do in order to complete work can be very stressful and that you understand that feeling too. This will go a long way to help start the process out on the right foot.
  2. Next you should ask the child to show you an example of the work they are doing. They might have a completed example from their textbook or a study sheet, or they might have one from class. If they are unable to find an example that is completed, that is perfectly fine and can be turned into a learning exercise for them in the following fashion:
  • Tell them that you need to conduct a search for the concept online.
  • Ask them to help you look through the text for the name of the concept they are learning, or a keyword that explains what they are learning.
  • Type this keyword or name into a search bar and see what results pop up. There are thousands of websites dedicated to helping explain complex problems for homework so chances are you will be flooded with possibilities.
  • Click through the top results and see if the website offers information or samples you can use. If the first site you use does not do this sufficiently, then go back and try the next one. During this process you should explain to the child what you are doing and why. Teach them how to evaluate the websites to see if they are a good match or if they offer good information related to their needs.

Once you find a sample problem, ask your child if they can recall any instructions they were given or notes on how to solve it. Work with them to create a step by step list and fill in any blanks. This is important because it reinforces that math homework is a process. It also shows the child that they can apply this process to solve their homework, assuming the steps work of course. It also gives the child a step by step list to take back to the teacher to show the effort they made if they were unable to get the correct answer. Having some progress will allow the teacher to explain the missing steps or show them the correct method again. This will ensure the child is more successful next time.

 
 

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