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Homework Helper: The Importance of Helping Your Child with Homework
From an early age, our children are sent home from school with homework. But your attitude about it will set the tone for years and years to come. If you want a child that does their best to be a good student in school, you need to quit complaining and set aside some time with your child now to help them develop this skill.
Some parents complain that homework is pointless but as someone who once taught ESL to kindergarteners in Asia, I can tell you that’s not the case. Complaining is what is pointless. Teaching your child how to think for themselves and strengthen their skills on what they’re learning in schools is essential.
My daughter comes home from preschool with homework each day. She can’t wait to do it either. Your child will be excited about homework too if you let them. Here are my top 3 tips for setting the stage for good homework habits early on:
- Look at the assignment
Every time, even when your child is much bigger and more than capable of working on their own, always take an interest in your child’s homework. When your child is older, you can discuss amazing literary works together or key points in history. They’re great conversations you could be having with your child. Plus, taking an interest in what they’re doing will help keep you involved in their education. If you think your child genuinely isn’t getting to learn important information in regards to the subject matter, you can use the homework as your basis for your argument.
- Talk to them about their homework
You do not need to stand over your child the entire time, but you should absolutely talk to them about it. This is extremely important for young children. Take it out of their bag and look it over. Then briefly explain to them what they need to do. You can even ask, “Do you know what you’re supposed to do?” Let them tell you what they think the assignment entails. If there’s any confusion, explain the directions. Older children need less supervision here but they may still have questions. In this way, if your child is struggling with math, you’ll know about it before grades really start to slip and you can do something to help like hire a tutor.
- Follow up
Once your child is done, take a look and make sure everything is complete. When my daughter shows me her finished homework, I check to see if she’s filled everything out. If she’s made errors, I go over it with her to help her learn from her mistake. I let her make the changes on her own and then check it again. For older children, keeping tabs on whether assignments are complete or not is important. Again, hovering isn’t necessary but if you take an active interest in your child’s school work, you will see a child with a thirst for knowledge emerge. One that is capable of thinking for themselves, solving problems on their own and holding a conversation about topics that run deeper than celebrity gossip and video games.