How to Help Your Child With Homework (Without Doing It for Them)

Guest Post

There is a fine line between offering homework help and doing the work for your child. This is how to help your child without doing the work for them.

 

Does this sound familiar? Your child is struggling excessively with his/her homework. You want to help, but you’re not sure of the best way to do so.

This is extremely common. After all, most parents are not professional educators.

Fortunately, we are. And we’re going to teach you the best methods for assisting your struggling child without doing all the work for them.

Even better, you can use these homework help tips with students of any age. Although it’s best to employ these strategies at an early age, it’s never too late to do so, either. Read on to learn how to help your child with his/her homework.

1. Learn Your Roles

First, you and your child need to learn your proper roles when working on homework together. Put simply, the homework is your child’s assignment to complete, not yours.

Remember, the homework is a tool for teaching/skill-building. So, the more you do to complete the assignment, the less your child learns.

Your job, then, is not to do the work or tell your child the correct answers. Your job is to enable your child to do the work himself.

For instance, simply be present so that they can ask about the parts of the assignment they don’t understand. Make sure they understand how to do the work and then let them try.

If they get the answer wrong, don’t tell them the right answer. Explain what they did wrong and then have them redo the problem the correct way.

2. Teach Them the Importance of Homework

Next, homework is already a difficult challenge when your child doesn’t understand the topic. But the hardest part is when they don’t even care about the work they’re struggling to complete. For instance, if your child doesn’t like math, it seems ridiculous to them to work so hard to get better at it.

Furthermore, specific topics aside, most children feel this way about homework in general. Things like earning good grades and showing their work are important to grown-ups but not to them.

So, teaching them why homework is important will be an enormous help to them. For instance, completing homework teaches a child how to follow instructions.

It also builds perseverance. Explain to your child that, in all stages of life, there are certain tasks they must do even though they don’t enjoy them. Learning to persevere through these tasks is a good habit that will continue to help your child for the rest of his/her life.

3. Teach Them the Importance of Communication

Many students who struggle with homework are afraid to confront their parents about it. They may keep this information to themselves to avoid confrontation.

As a result, some parents don’t find out about this until the report card comes out. By this time, the child may be too far behind in the subject matter to catch up. And even if they get tutoring to catch up, it may still be too late to make up assignments and fix the child’s failing grade.

If this is a possible issue with your child, stop it now. Teach them that it’s very important to let you know if they are getting bad grades and/or don’t understand a subject or assignment. This way, you can get them the help they need before it’s too late.

Remind them also that, if they do hide the truth from you, you will eventually find out, anyway. And then, it will be a much more difficult problem to solve.

4. Set Up a Routine Time and Place For Homework

Next, if you make homework a routine, your child becomes more efficient at it. And, they will be less likely to forget assignments.

Start by having a system set up for your child to record what assignments they have that week and when they are due. Then, set up a quiet, non-distracting workspace for them to do homework in. This is where they are to do homework every time.

It’s best if this space is used only for homework so that it doesn’t get cluttered with other things. It should also be well-lit and fully stocked with school supplies at all times.

5. Teach Them How to Plan Their Homework Schedule

In the same way, have a routine time blocked out for homework. More importantly, teach your child how to plan his/her homework schedule so that he/she can be in charge of this.

Figure out how many hours a day your child needs to complete their typical workload. Have the child block out time to do this, the same time every day.

Also, don’t allow them to put off any homework assignments just because they aren’t due until later in the week. Have them complete all assignments as early as possible. Make it a rule that they must always use their homework time for homework until all assignments are complete.

6. Give Extra Attention to Difficult Subjects

Prepare yourself, and your schedule, for the reality of helping your child with difficult subjects. They will need a lot of your time and attention to get through this. If you can’t commit to this, you should probably hire a tutor.

7. Work With Their School

Speaking of outside help, keep your child’s school in the loop about these homework struggles. There are likely already many programs in place at your child’s school to assist struggling students. Perhaps the child’s teacher can help, too.

8. Stay Positive

We understand how stressful and scary it can be when your child is struggling with his/her education. The bad news is, you really can’t allow yourself to express your negative feelings about this in front of your child.

You see, they’re already stressed about this, too. And when they see you stressing, they feel even worse. After all, if a grown-up can’t even handle this situation, how can a child?

Plus, they will feel guilty about making you feel bad. This also adds to their discouragement.

So, no matter how frustrating this process gets, stay positive as long as your child is present. This is a proven technique for motivating your struggling child.

Remember This Guide and Follow These Homework Help Tips

You can give your child the homework help he/she needs by following these tips. Remember, though, it requires a significant investment of time and effort on your part.

Keep this page bookmarked so that you don’t forget these tips. Also, please share this guide with others who need advice on how to help their children with homework.

 

Alternatively, if you need additional assistance, we can help. Contact Pear Tree Elementary to learn how our educational programs can enable your child to excel.

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