Homework Tips for Parents1)Do a daily check of the agenda book.
Your child should have something written in each section of the page. They should write “no homework” if there is no homework in a class. This will indicate that your child took out their book each period and made a conscious effort to write down his/her assignments. You can double check on your child by going tothe teachers’ websites.There you will find information about your child’s classes and homework.
2) Set up a study area and homework survival kit.
To do homework successfully, a student must have a place at home in which to work. The area should be well lit, quiet, and have all the necessary supplies at hand. Make a homework survival kit with your child (List of supplies should include: sharpened pencils, colored pencils, ruler, scissors, atlas, dictionary, calculator, glue) and make sure this area is kept well stocked. It is amazing how much time is wasted when your child goes looking for a pencil or a pair of scissors.
3)Schedule daily homework time.
You can help your child by scheduling daily homework time andsticking to it. Work with your child to determine a regular time when he/she can get his/her work completed.
4) Create a Homework Drop-off space.
Your child should place his/her homework in a speciallydesignated spot. You should look it over and return in time for it to go to school on time. You should also have your child bring home any “homework” completed at school and place this in the drop-off.
5) Tell your child what you expect.
Say, “I know you can do a great job. I expect you to do all of your homework every night and want you to take your time and do the best work you can. Sloppy or unfinished work is not acceptable.” If you do this regularly, your child will have a clear idea of the job he/she must complete and how he/she needs to complete it. When the work is completed, ask your child to evaluate it. Ask questions such as, “Is this your best work?” or, “What grade would you give this work and WHY should it earn that grade?”
6) Praise your child for work well done.
Say, “Great job getting your homework done!” or, “I like how neat your paper looks. Keep up the good work!” Praise is the best way to encourage continued best efforts.
7) Provide additional incentives.
Consider rewarding your child each time homework is completed or for every number of minutes he/she is able to focus on his/her homework. An example might be 20 minutes of computer time. You could say, “After you have done this math page, you can talk to your friend on the phone for 10 minutes.” You could also make a contract with your child and keep a chart of his/her good homework habits. At the end of each week, you could see if your child has earned an incentive. The rewards do not have to be expensive. In fact, we find that many children respond well to the idea of earning time with you….a trip to a museum or to the park.
8) Back up your words with action.
This is the hardest one but also the most important. Give choices. Say, “You can chose to either do your homework or lose these privileges: You will not leave the house; you will not watch television, listen to music, or use the telephone. You will sit here until your homework is done. The choice is yours.” It may take several days to show that you mean business, but stick to your demand. Consistency and firmness is the key.
9) Encourage your child to work independently.
Homework teaches a student responsibility and, through homework, students learn how to be independent, successful adults. Encourage your child to ask a teacher or friend for help or to use reference books or dictionaries to collect information. Offer help once all other resources have been tried.
10) Don’t be discouraged.
Establishing these routines isn’t easy. It takes time and effort. But the rewards are great and the time you will save in the future is staggering. You are the most important person in your child’s life and you can have the greatest impact on success. Hang in there and be firm, yet encouraging. You aren’t alone. All of your child’s teachers are available for after-school help and to answer your questions via email or a phone call. But we can’t help your child without your significant help.