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 15 Ways to Support Your Child
By Janeen Lewis
Let’s be honest – sometimes parents dread homework as much as their kids do. But homework connects parents to what their children are learning in school, and research shows that children are more likely to be successful in school when their families support
them. By following these tips, even the most homework-challenged parents can help their children have a successful homework year.
1. Understand the reason for homework.
Homework reinforces what is being taught in
the classroom and teaches students important life skills – responsibility, time management and task completion. Children should be able to complete the work with little help from parents, and they shouldn’t come home with an entirely new concept to learn. Homework should be practice or an extension of what they’ve already learned.
2. Know the teacher’s philosophy.
Teachers have different philosophies about how much homework to assign. Some think piling on
a ton of homework helps build character. Others think children have done enough work during the day and don’t assign any. Understand where your child’s teacher falls on the homework spectrum
so you are not surprised as the homework does (or doesn’t) come home. If you are unsure what a reasonable amount of homework is, The National Education Association and The National Parent Teacher Association recommend 10-20 minutes
of homework per night in the first grade, and an additional 10 minutes per grade after that.
3. Learn what the homework rules are.
At Open House learn the homework policy of the school and your child’s teacher. What are the
consequences for lost or forgotten homework? Don’t be quick to bail your child out every time you get a frantic text message about forgotten homework. One of the purposes of homework is to teach responsibility.
4. Get organized.
Your child should have a backpack and homework folder to carry assignments between home and school. Teachers of primary students usually send homework correspondence each night. If your older child’s teacher doesn’t require students to record school work in an assignment book, provide one yourself and teach your child how to fill it out.
5. Schedule a consistent time.
With sports, service projects, religious and community activities, it can be hard to schedule one set time every day to do homework. Aim for as much consistency as possible when scheduling homework around after-school activities.
6. Designate a study space.
Pick a homework space free from distractions. However, consider your child’s personality and ability to focus when selecting a homework station. Some children concentrate best in complete quiet at the kitchen table or a desk. Others study well on
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