The Homework Helper

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Homework; the word that can strike fear into the hearts of parents and children alike. Homework can be a positive or a negative influence on the attitude your child has to education. Homework helps to reinforce lessons and teaches children to organize their time, to be responsible and to work independently. Homework has a tendency to leave some children feeling frustrated, bored and overwhelmed. This is especially true of children with learning disabilities and those who are not coping with their workload. Supervision and tutoring can help to overcome learning hurdles.

Get involved

Getting involved with your child’s homework will help you to keep track of his progress. You should be aware of upcoming assignments and tests and help your child prepare.

Foster positive communication with teachers. Discuss difficulties your child is having and work together with the teacher to find teaching techniques that you can use at home.

Teach independence

The temptation to do your child’s homework is great, especially if they are struggling. Doing your child’s homework will not help them in the long run; provide guidance, not answers.

If your child is having trouble, try to help them to understand the concepts so that they can complete homework tasks by themselves.

Some parents are just too busy to provide help for children who are not coping. A professional tutor can help your child to make the most of her education.

Ten tips on how to be a great homework helper

1. Pick the right location and time of day for homework. Children should be rested and homework should be done in a well-lit area away from distractions like family members and TV. Avoid doing homework just before bedtime.

2. Help your child to effectively manage their time by drawing up a realistic timetable. Establish set times for homework and save weekends for larger assignments.

3. Help your child to manage their homework tasks. Do difficult tasks first and save the easier ones for later when they are tired.

4. Make sure your children eat healthy meals; too much sugar or junk food can impair concentration.

5. If you see your child’s concentration waning, suggest a short break. Do the same if they are getting frustrated.

6. Reinforce positive homework habits. When your child does their homework on time, reward them with a fun activity.

7. Be helpful, positive and patient. Getting frustrated or angry is counterproductive.

8. Check correct homework first and then encourage your child to go back and have another look at problems that are incorrect.

9. Don’t let homework drag on all night. If the child is not able to complete the tasks assigned in a reasonable amount of time, write a note asking his teacher for an extension.

10. Get moving. Ensure that your child gets enough exercise between homework tasks. Ask children to look out of a window so that they can relax their eye muscles.

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