Homework is an important part of learning. When you support your children's homework routine, you can help them do better at school. Here are some simple tips to help get the most out of their homework.
- A routine is good. Homework can be habit forming and that's good news for you and your child. Work out a homework schedule and make sure children adhere to it. It won't be long before homework is complete without your getting involved.
- Give space for homework. Distractions and homework don't mix. So do your best to create a bright and quiet space where your child can concentrate on schoolwork. Make sure it's away from distractions like
TV, music and loud siblings.
- Practice makes perfect. Repetition reinforces learning. That's why it's helpful to have kids practice reading, writing and math with you every day. Ten to 15 minutes a day can work wonders, whether reading a favourite book together, or helping measure ingredients in the kitchen.
- "How was your day?" Every school day is an adventure. Kids will do and learn so much they'll be bursting to tell someone all about it. So take a few moments every day to chat about the school day—and be a good listener.
- Check in occasionally. When kids do their homework all alone, their concentration can often wander. Check in once in a while and see how it's going. Ask if there are any questions. Sometimes kids just need to talk about a homework problem to figure out the answer.
- Turn everyday activities into homework. Teachers give homework and so can you. Include children in everyday tasks and assign activities such as searching newspapers, reading recipes, creating shopping lists, plotting out routes on a map, etc. Small activities can often teach big lessons.
- Make kids proud of their effort. Getting the answers right is important, but it's only part of what homework is all about. Doing a thorough and neat job is important, too. Make it a habit to sit down and go over completed homework. Look at it together for thoroughness and overall quality of work. Always look for something positive.
- Motivate with applause. "Hey, you did a great job". Words like these have an amazing effect on children. Encouragement gives them confidence and makes them feel good about doing their best. At the end of every homework session, try letting your son or daughter know that you appreciate and admire the effort.
- Encourage curiosity and questions. Learning really begins when kids start asking questions. Who, what, where, when and why are magical words of discovery that make learning more interesting and fun. Give your children the confidence to ask for help if the homework is difficult or confusing.
- Know what's going on at school. Unfortunately, kids don't always tell parents everything. Make a point of staying in touch with teachers, especially if you have a question or concern. Let teachers know they can always call you if there is a problem.