It’s homework season, and even though evenings are particularly busy for most families, your support at home can make a huge difference for your child. According to research conducted by the Center for Public Education, “Programs and interventions that engage families in supporting their children’s learning at home are linked to higher student achievement.” Here are five ways you can help your child get the most out of studying at home.
1. Eliminate distractions. Set up a special area where your child can get in the habit of completing their homework each night. Remove visual or auditory distractions and make sure TV, social media or games are out of reach.
2. Be in the know. Pop in to dialogue with your child’s teacher about how long — on average — your child’s homework should take to complete. If your child spends much longer than what is expected, the approach or the load may need to be modified.
3. Take a break first. It’s tempting to want your child to get started right away so the homework can be finished early, but bear in mind they’ve already had a long day. Allow them to play outside or on the computer, have a protein-packed snack, and then switch the gears over to homework when the time is right.
4. Find what works. Does your child have trouble staying on task? Consider setting a timer and urge them to get as much done as they can before it goes off. (Reset as needed.) Or perhaps they’re extra sensory-stimulated. No problem, try letting them sit on an exercise ball or chew gum while they work.
5. Monitor and motivate. Ask questions about what assignments are due, any quizzes coming up, or simply be on hand to encourage and answer questions.
Parents who stay invested in their children’s education and homework after hours can not only be a valuable resource to help their child stay on track — you may be able to help eliminate struggles before they start. If your child often exhibits frustration or discouragement over their ability to complete a task, you can step in to help connect them with the tools they need — even if it’s a little extra tutoring on the side. Don’t be afraid to bring up any questions or concerns to your child’s teacher. We want to work with you to create the best learning environment and customized education possible for your child.