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their bed with background music. And reading areas can be creative like a reading tent or comfy bean bag. Make study areas free from video games, television and the games of other siblings who finish homework early.
7. Create a supply caddy.
Fill a plastic caddy or bin organizer with items your child might need for homework. Some good supplies are pencils, markers, crayons, glue, tape, stapler, three- hole punch, paper clips, notebook paper, small wipe-off board with dry erase markers, art paper, graph paper, calculator, protractor, compass, ruler and a dictionary/ thesaurus combo. Also provide a wipe-off calendar for important due dates.
8. Be available, but
don’t do the work.
Helping your child with homework is a great way to connect with them, but don’t spoon feed answers. The whole point
of homework is for children to practice skills independently.
9. Use a timer if necessary.
Sometimes children like to procrastinate. Some children like the challenge of beating the clock. Either way, a timer keeps a child focused on the finish line.
10. Keep a resource
Can’t remember what a gerund is? Are you a little rusty on
what the terms perpendicular and parallel mean? Keep an assortment of reference books
or save online references to your Favorites list on your computer. A good math dictionary for parents of elementary students is Math Dictionary: Homework Help
for Families by Judith de Klerk. Another great resource is the Everything You Need to Know About Homework Series Set by Anne Zeman and Kate Kelly.
11. Create a phone chain.
How many times has your child left their spelling words at school or forgotten a lesson? Help your child make a list of friends they can call or get to know other parents in your child’s class so you can have
a phone chain to get answers about assignments.
12. Model learning as
a priority.
Let your child see you
reading the newspaper or books. Discuss current events, politics or the new art or history museum you want to visit.
Find exciting tidbits in their homework lessons and research them. Show by example that learning is fun.
13. Encourage.
No matter how tired you are, have a positive attitude about the work your child is doing. Encourage their efforts and let them know you are proud of them.
14. Reward.
Homework rewards don’t have to be elaborate, although you may want to up the ante for a struggling child or one who is hard to motivate. A reward can be something as simple as a fun activity when they finish. But you can also keep a homework incentive chart and let your child earn a special activity with mom or dad, some extra screen time or a dinner out.
15. Don’t be afraid to
speak up.
If you think too much homework is coming home, that your child isn’t familiar with the material or that they are struggling, don’t be too intimidated to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher. Most teachers welcome feedback and want to help your child succeed.
– Regardless of Your Budget
By Kimberly Blaker
Does your child have a learning disability, poor
or declining grades, poor time management skills,
or difficulty understanding homework? If so, tutors are an effective way to get kids back on track and keep them there. But how do you find a good, reliable tutor you can trust? And what if hiring a tutor isn't in your budget? Today, there are many options.
HOW TO FIND A TUTOR Your child's teacher and the school administrator are an excellent place to start. They might be able to recommend a tutor in your community or online resources to help your child.
Also, chances are one of your child's friends has a tutor. So, ask other parents for a recommendation.
Another option is to search online for tutors in your area. You'll likely find a couple of local tutoring companies. These often offer on-site tutoring, but some might offer in-home tutoring as well.
There are also many websites developed for helping parents find tutors. has a searchable database
of tutors. Just enter your zip code and the school subject to find tutors in your area.
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