by Kerry Hart, LLMFT
Homework time can be the most dreaded part of the day for parents of children who would sooner argue for hours than sit down and do their assigned work. Parents can change this pattern and set their children up for success by getting involved and setting a positive example when it comes to homework habits. Studies show when parents are involved in their children’s educational pursuits, they do better in school and have more positive feelings about school and their education in general. It’s been proven that parental involvement and attention is more important to a child’s academic success than their family’s economic status or whether they attend a public or private school.
Meet the Teacher
First off, get to know your child’s teacher. Attend parent-teacher conferences and if possible, start a dialogue before these conferences. Be transparent about where you have noticed your child needs assistance and ask the teachers for tips that have been successful in the past. Keep the dialogue going to get updates; if something does start to go downhill, you will already have a parent-teacher relationship established. This will help you to solve problems early on and prevent other issues from surfacing in the future.
Get It Done
Homework completion is essential to your child’s success. Regardless of what grade they are in, set up positive studying habits and make time to go through their homework with them each day. Explain things they may not have understood in class. Your child’s teacher may have anywhere from 25 to 1,500 kids running through their classroom each day; it’s not possible for them to provide one-on-one time to each student, even if they want to. Your extra attention will be much appreciated by both your kiddo and their teacher.
Studies show when parents are involved in their children’s educational pursuits, they do better in school.
You are a model for your children and they learn by your example; even if the schoolwork they are assigned is challenging for you to understand, show interest and respect for the work, and your child will be sure to do the same.
If your kid is struggling with a particularly difficult assignment, allow them to take small breaks, but ensure that they see the work through to the end and get it done.
Help your child prepare for tests. Keep copies of their homework so you have plenty to study from come test-taking time. If you paid attention and showed interest when your child did the original assignments, you should be more than prepared to help them study once it’s time for exams and quizzes.
Showing a positive attitude toward education will set your child up for success. Practice chemistry by baking in the kitchen, have a “family word of the week” to expand vocabularies, let them calculate change at the store and read books together; demonstrating to them how valuable their education is to living a fulfilling life will help them grow into enthusiastic, confident learners.