Children and homework go together like, well, children and broccoli. It’s doable, but sometimes it can be a struggle. How can you get your child to do his or her after school work regularly, without a fuss? These are a few ideas for parents.
1. Get to know your child’s teacher or teachers. Communicate with them, obtain their phone number. Stop in for a visit at the beginning of the school-year. Attend any welcoming meetings the school might sponsor for parents. Build a relationship with your child’s teacher or teachers, and let the teacher know that you are interested in your child’s success.
Ask what is expected of the students. How much homework will they be getting and how often? If the child falls behind in their grades, can they make up work or do extra credit assignments? Give the teacher your phone number and encourage the teacher to call you if your child has any problems or isn’t handing in his work.
2. If your child often tells you that they don’t have any, get suspicious. It is a rarity that a child will never have homework. Most children get at least some almost every day. If your child tells you that they did it in school already, call the teacher or teachers. Ask them if your son or daughter is handing in their work. Ask them about the quality of the assignments and if the child understands the topics being covered. How are they doing on their tests? Is there any extra work they can do to get their grades up?
3. Create a regular schedule for your child. Nothing can help a child more than structure and a regular schedule when it comes to completing tasks. Some children may need a wind-down period when they come home from school. For others, they might do better with eating a little snack after school and getting right down to business.
In either case, ask yourself, when are you available to help? Are you home for your children when they come home from school? If so, try to be there when they are doing their homework so you can check their work and help them if they need it. If you aren’t home until after a full day’s work, and if your child is able to complete their homework on their own, then make sure it is complete every day.
Homework does directly affect the child’s grades and a child’s knowledge of the material for testing. Standardized testing for graduation, which has become the norm in many states, necessitates understanding of deep topics in science and math, so completing homework is a necessity.
4. Have a designated area free of distractions for homework. The area should be well-lit and organized. The child shouldn’t have to scramble to find a pen or pencil. There should be paper, erasers and whatever other necessary supplies, readily at hand. The TV, video games and computer should be turned OFF, as should be the music. A child and teen needs a distraction-free environment to understand topics he or she might not be familiar with.
Some parents close down the TV and video games during the school week or even the school year. This simple step has helped some failing students succeed and can help average students to excel.
5. Don’t allow your children to listen to music when they are doing their homework. If your child tells you that they concentrate better listening to music, don’t be fooled. There is no child or teen that does better homework with the iPod, music videos or stereo playing. Any type of multi-tasking efforts on the part of your child or teen will only lower the quality of his or her education. Make homework time free of distractions, including music distractions, that is, music of the popular kind. (A little background Mozart is not likely to overly-distract most listeners, but for most children and teens, Mozart isn’t the music of preference).
6. Hire a tutor. If you find that despite your efforts and the efforts of the child, they can’t seem to keep on track, think about hiring a tutor. A tutor can be an older student, a college student, a teacher’s assistant or a teacher. Prices can run from $8 an hour to $40 or even $80 an hour for specialized tutors. A hired tutor for an hour a day, or several times a week, can be a big help in assisting your child to complete and understand their homework. Try to supervise and keep on top of things to make sure the child is getting the most out of his or her tutoring.
Also, keep in mind that a tutor needn’t be a permanent arrangement. Sometimes one or two semesters can be enough to help your child develop good study habits and to get on track.
Homework is an essential part of success in school. Children receive dittos, textbook assignments, research papers, essays, and should be doing homework daily. The quality of their homework assignments will make a difference in their grades, and ultimately, the career and employment choices that are open to them.
This article has been provided by Kevin Andersen. Kevin is the owner of a company that publishes personalized kids books. These books are customized to include the child’s name, age, friends’ names and a dedication. Since the child becomes the main character in the story, he is more likely to become interested in reading it.