As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to flourish in their academic endeavors and to keep learning and growing. It’s only natural to want to help them with their homework, but it’s important to put in place strategies that can give your children the support they need.
Create a Dedicated Space
Associating specific areas with particular tasks can have dramatic benefits. Having dedicated spaces for work, eating, and sleeping can help our kids focus on the task at hand. Make sure that this space, wherever it is, is free of distractions like televisions and smartphones. Even a few moments on social media to talk with friends can cause momentum to be lost. Try to involve your children in the decision process by asking them where they feel they could best focus, and examine each area’s positives and negatives. A study space should have sufficient room for the basics, like study materials as well as pencils, pens, and other essentials. Consider letting your children add some of their personality to the study space, but be sure that the clutter is kept to a minimum. A study space can be the perfect way for your children to enter the right frame of mind to progress with their studies.
Know When to Help
Sometimes, children need a different perspective when it comes to completing their homework. Your support can be foundational, but it’s important to know when to offer assistance. Crucially, it’s prudent to shape assistance in a way that does not provide direct answers. Instead, ask them what they are having difficulty with and what assistance they need. Try to offer guidance and ask them questions to nudge them toward discovering the answer for themselves. If you are unsure about the subject or what the homework is asking, consider contacting your child’s teacher or searching online for teaching resources. Be sure to impress upon your children that it’s alright to ask for help when they hit a roadblock. Suggest that, in addition to you, they should consider approaching teachers when they are unsure of something.
While it’s a good idea to be nearby when your children do their homework, try to avoid watching them like a hawk. This could end up being counterproductive, as it could inadvertently increase the sense of pressure they may already be experiencing. Helping out with homework can be a slippery slope, so make sure you’re not overly involved. It’s easy to want to prevent our children from making mistakes, but this is the best way for them to learn. Never correct answers as this can be a helpful indicator for a teacher on where your child could benefit from extra support. If your child does come back home with their work marked for errors, examine it together to better understand what happened and what could be changed in the future. Don’t, however, criticize their work because this could undermine their motivation. Instead, ask them where there could be improvements and encourage them to think how that might be achieved.
Offer Fun Incentives
Goals are important in many aspects of life. Learning is one. They can act as driving motivators and help one overcome any number of obstacles, especially when working toward a reward. Think about your children’s interests and look to incorporate them into a fun reward system for completing homework. Be sure to make goals manageable to avoid creating undue pressure. In addition to preexisting passions, choose activities that could help them learn and discover new things. Outdoor activities are a great way to organize a rewarding family trip while exposing them to new learning opportunities. Consider bird watching, camping, and treasure hunts as these are great ways to connect with nature and learn. You could hunt for different types of plants, search for tracks, and identify rock types.
Homework can be stressful. Sometimes, it can be plain confusing. Various distractions can compound this, and it can all conspire to stifle study time. You can have a positive influence by creating an environment ideal for study, knowing when to help, and offering rewards for completed homework.
Ivy League’s Homework Help Program
Ivy League Kids after school program provides a quiet space dedicated for students to do their homework. Our site directors and aides are on-hand to support students and answer questions so they can get their homework done and don’t have to worry about it when they get home. We know that at the end of the day, quality family time is the most important thing.
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