If it seems that with the new school year your kids’ amount of homework has increased, that’s likely true. Each year a new grade brings with it increasing amounts of responsibility, including homework. Some homework can be started during the school day, but often it needs to be finished after hours.
Homework can sometimes seem overwhelming, both for your child and for the whole family. Here are a few helpful tips.
- Attitude. If you treat homework as positively as possible, that will help your young student. Doing schoolwork at home has many up sides, including letting you in on how things are going at school. You’ll learn what your child is studying and how easy or difficult a particular subject is for him.
- Assistance. You shouldn’t do your child’s homework, but there are many things you can help her with. Memorization is one of the biggest. Make practicing for spelling and arithmetic tests fun. Make flash cards together out of scrap paper cut into squares. Use free online websites to get ideas or even create games around specific words or subjects. Prepping for a social studies test about Mexico? Make sure you understand what topics are being covered, and look at some web videos that show art, culture and travel.
- Time. This is the biggie, isn’t it? You’ve been thrown from sleeping in and days by the pool, to waiting for the bus and trying to decide what to have for supper and how you’ll get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there. Every day is crunch time. How to schedule in homework?
- These first few weeks are important in figuring out which subjects and days of the week will require more time.
- Negotiate with the students in your house. They may need a little down time to play a game and have a snack when they first get home, or they may prefer to get homework out of the way.
- Do a back-off timetable from bedtime. Figure out when they need to be in bed, about how much time homework will take, and work out with the students when and how they’ll get the work done.
- If the time is overwhelming and your child is spending far too much time with homework, talk to the teacher. This is important information for any teacher to know.
- Space. Find the right space where you can keep an eye on computer screens while also limiting distractions.
- Support. The Scott County Library has online help from 2 p.m. until midnight, a great local resource. Many teachers and classrooms have their own website where homework assignments may be posted. For middle and high school, get familiar with the Infinite Campus site, where you can follow grades and attendance. There’s even an app in the Apple Store.
- Involvement. If you see problems developing, don’t wait. Talk to your child’s teacher right away. Usually they’ll have good ideas for helping your youngster’s academic progress at home. If you worry that there may be a medical problem or learning disability, contact our office for an appointment.
Homework is an essential tool in learning, both now and in developing the right skills for a lifetime. With your help and encouragement, the students in your family can do well.
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