Helping with homework. This is different from doing the homework! Parents and caregivers should be willing and able to help kids with their school work and special projects, but should also recognise that if they do the work themselves, then the kids have not learned anything! Oh – and the teachers and other parents can totally tell when your young child brings in a project that clearly has been completed by an adult!
The first way to help with homework is to make sure that there is a standard time and good environment for studying. See our recent blog post on school success for more information on how to do this.
The next way to help with homework is to make sure your kids know how to study well. It seems self-evident but like anything else in life, how would a kid know until you tell them! We also posted a recent blog post and links for further reading on this topic. Although it is aimed at older kids, the basic premises can be good for younger kids as well.
Some tips for when you are actually sitting down next to your kid and are in the thick of it, include:
–> If your kids is struggling to get an answer, help them work their way to the answer instead of giving them the answer. If there are relatively complex subjects your kid is struggling to understand, spend the extra time talking it through to make it become clearer for your kid.
–> For big creative projects, you can certainly help plan and collect the needed supplies, but you should help your kids develop their ideas versus giving all your own and the kids should do the lion share of the execution with your supervision and support.
–> Consider asking your kids for a summary of the concepts they are learning / practising at the end of each homework session will help your kids become more conscious of the work they are doing. Explaining concepts will also help consolidate their thinking in their heads.
–> Making flashcards and testing knowledge in advance of quizzes and tests is a very valid means to support your kids. You can do this during scheduled study time or during an evening walk or as a game at dinner!
And find out more about caregivers who can help you in your home(work) (see what we did there?)