15 Top Tips for How to Help Your Child With Homework

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One of the roles that many parents have to take on is the role of a teacher when their child comes home and needs help with their homework.

For a lot of us, it’s probably been quite a while since we’ve had to do any homework of our own so it can be hard to know just how we can help our children to complete theirs.

 

Whether your child needs help getting started with their English assignment or requires help with complete their Spanish homework, here are 15 top tips you should know:

  1. Find the right way to motivate them

It can be hard to find the motivation to do something you don’t want to do, especially when you’re a child, so it’s important to find a way that will get your child into the zone to complete their homework. 

The methods you use will vary, as every child is completely different. It’s all about finding what works for your child, whether that’s offering rewards, giving them praise or just giving them the space to motivate themselves.

  1. Come up with a routine

Try and stick to a similar daily routine that will help your child become familiar with the times they’re expected to focus. 

A good routine for you may be to work for an hour after dinner time every day or to work for an hour after they get back from school.

  1. Create a homework plan

Your child might have lots of homework to complete so it’s good to have a plan of how you’re going to get all of the work done, so you don’t have to rush to complete everything on a Sunday evening.

At the start of the week, discuss with your child what homework they have, then using a printable weekly planner you can create a homework plan of what work will be done on each day. 

You can find simple printable planners online for free by just typing ‘printable planner for kids’ on Pinterest.

  1. Give them a study space

To keep your child’s attention during homework time, you may want to think about the environment they’re working in and how you can make it a more suitable study space.

If you have a separate room or office, that’s great! But if you don’t, you can create a good study space by simply clearing everything off the kitchen table, laying out some pens and paper and putting on some music to help focus.

  1. Talk their homework through together

Before getting your child to start working, talk through their homework with them to make sure you both understand what needs to be done.

Take this time to ask your child questions about the work; what they think they need to do, if they understand all of the questions, and how long they think it’s going to take them.

  1. Teach them organisation skills

Organisation is an important skill that your child will need a lot during their life, so try to encourage them to learn this skill early.

Staying organised can be the difference between a good grade and a bad grade, and make sure this is clear to your child.

Help them to stay organised by giving your child a shelf where they can organise all of their books and notes, and use planners to help them organise their time effectively.

  1. Use all resources available

Normally your child may have some notes from their class, instructions from a teacher, or textbooks that will be useful when approaching their homework.

Make sure to take advantage of all of the resources your child has to complete their homework—anything might help!

  1. Get tech-savvy if you need to

Some of your child’s homework may be set online or may require a laptop or electronic device in order to complete it, so prepare to get a bit tech-savvy in order to help.

The internet will also prove a very valuable resource when it comes to finding answers to questions you and your child aren’t sure of.

  1. Keep distractions to a minimum

If you don’t have a quiet room where you can work, try to minimise all the distractions you can like your phones or the TV.

This also includes avoiding areas of the house where lots of people are who may be having their own conversations, or moving about, which can be a cause of distraction.

  1. Lead by example

You can’t expect a child to follow your rules if you’re not leading by example. If you’re expecting your child to focus and avoid distractions, make sure you’re doing the same.

Put away your phone, sit at the table with them and make it clear that they have your attention completely. Once they see that you’re in the zone to work, they will follow.

  1. Monitor their work

It can be easy to want to do our child’s homework for them, but remember that you should be monitoring their work, not just completing it for them.

Sit at the table with your child to make sure that they really are working, and be on hand to answer any questions that they have—but only if they really need it. It’s always best to try and make them work it out for themselves before giving them the answer.

  1. Relate things to the real world

If your child isn’t understanding their homework, try and find a way to relate it to the real world to make it feel more familiar.

An easy example is with maths homework, all the numbers won’t make much sense to your child on their own but when you start using toys, sweets etc. to show the numbers, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to understand.

  1. Offer frequent breaks

If your child has got a lot of homework to do, it can be tempting to try and get it all done in one go but this often leads to poor quality work.

Most experts say that our brains can only fully focus for around 20 minutes before we start producing bad work, so make sure to give your child frequent breaks inbetween homework tasks. 

Breaks can involve getting out of their chair and getting some fresh air, or walking to another room to get a drink and snack. These breaks should last no more than 5 minutes but will allow your child to focus and be productive for longer.

  1. Praise their work and offer rewards

If your child has done a good job, like receiving a good grade or being able to complete a hard question without your help, praise them for it.

Praise can be as simple as saying “Well done” or “I’m proud of you”, or you can offer to buy them their favourite snack or cook their favourite meal for dinner that night. 

Letting your child know they will receive praise or a reward for their good work will motivate and encourage them to keep doing their best and excel in the future.

  1. Speak to their teacher

If you feel like you’ve tried everything but are still not able to help your child with their homework, it may be time to call in help from their teacher.

Most teachers will be fine with you asking to schedule a meeting to discuss your child’s homework. This is a good time to raise any concerns you may have, and also discuss any potential solutions to the problems you may be having.

We hope those tips will come in useful the next time your child asks for their help with their homework. Let us know if you find any more useful tips other parents should know!

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