As a teacher, I heard the moans and groans from the students each time I gave a homework assignment. However, I realized how important it is to practice the concepts that were taught in class. Homework gives the student a greater understanding and competency in the lesson taught.
Children of the age between 6 and 12 are just beginning to have assignments to do at home, and parents can learn a few simple steps to make this easier and more fun for the child. Homework is a fact of life for students throughout their academic life and even in adult careers. Developing a positive attitude can mean even greater success.
1) Set a regular homework time.
It is best if the student gets into a routine, with homework at a set time each afternoon. Allow your child some time to relax and unwind after school, have a snack, and play with friends. Then set a regular time for homework to be done. Many families find that their child does best to begin homework after dinner, but scheduling time can be adjusted to each family’s schedule.
2) Give your child a quiet place to study.
A desk in the child’s room is a better study environment than the kitchen table. The more distractions you can eliminate, the better your child will concentrate. Turn off the television and radio. Provide a comfortable chair and a desk or table with good lighting. Make sure your child has all the supplies they need- extra pencils, paper, dictionary, etc.
3) Sit down with your child.
At the beginning of each homework session, sit down with your child and go over the assignments. Gather materials needed, give ideas or suggestions, and then help them to get started. Avoid trying to do the work for your child. If they are having difficulty, demonstrate a similar problem, but do not do their actual homework. Leave your child alone to work on the assignment without supervision. Then, when they are finished, sit down and review briefly what they did and the concepts they learned. Be enthusiastic and give praise for their attempt. Offer suggestions, but avoid correcting their mistakes.
4) Demonstrate skills for life-long learning.
Let your child see you enjoy reading, making library trips, or researching the history of places to visit. Take them to museums. Talk to them about the things you are learning. Let them observe your enjoyment of learning new things.
5) Keep in contact with your child’s teacher regularly.
Even if your child seems to be doing fine, it is important to stay in contact with your child’s teacher. Discuss any concerns you have and ask for her suggestions. If your child needs a tutor, ask the teacher to suggest someone. Children generally pay closer attention in tutoring to someone other than a parent.
By helping your child develop a positive attitude toward learning, homework time will become more enjoyable. Stay involved and don’t be afraid to get help or suggestions when needed. With your enthusiasm, your child can develop the habits of being a successful life long learner.