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Helping Your Child with Homework: Instructions for Parents

Do you dread your child’s homework as much as your child does? The lost assignments, forgotten textbooks, papers, chemistry or math problems you could barely remember? Here are some instructions for helping your child with his or her homework and help them achieve higher grades in school:

  • Develop a plan:
  • What are trying to accomplish? An improvement in a letter grade? An hour or two a day? Make a list of everything you want to accomplish and develop a way to measure your success. Remember that you too should keep yourself in check to ensure that you are doing all you can to help your child achieve.

  • Get into a routine:
  • Stick to a daily schedule – one in which both you and your child will be available to work without distractions. Make it before or after dinner. Or make it for an hour as soon as you arrive. You will know what time works best, but the important thing is that you stick to the routine. You might want to try out a few different times to work together until you get it right and before the really tough homework assignments come.

  • Know when to get help:
  • If you find yourself having trouble remembering some concepts (math, physics and chemistry are usually on top of the forgotten subject list) then consider getting some outside help from a tutor to work on those concepts exclusively. Don’t be afraid to pick up a re-fresher book for yourself if you want to be entirely involved.

  • Pick a good spot:
  • It’s a good idea to find a spot where you and your child can work without distractions. This means away from the television and possibly away from the computer if you can afford to spend time away from it. Make it a habit and be sure to prepare your chosen area minutes before setting down to work together. This way you won’t be constantly distracted by having to get up to find school supplies.

  • Let your child be challenged:
  • Don’t be so helpful! Don’t answer every question your child has and especially don’t answer questions only because you want to get it over with. You should keep in mind that your goal is to gradually have to help them less and less as the year progresses and less and less as your child becomes more independent. When you’re double-checking your child’s answers correct a few and see if you can direct your child to double-check his or her own answers if you’ve spotted some common errors. Again, don’t just give them the answers.


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