Homework teaches children responsibility and skills they must develop to be independent, motivated, and successful adults. It teaches them how to
follow directions, how to begin and complete a task, and how to manage time. Here are some tips to help your child be successful:
- Establish a routine to mark the afternoon transition from school to home. For some children, it may be snack and chat time or time with the family pet. For others, it may be time to change out of school clothes and into afternoon play clothes.
- Help your child develop appropriate work habits, such as emptying his or her own backpack and taking out any papers or notes the teacher may have sent home. Also, establishing a habit of putting homework back into the homework folder and into the backpack when it's done will save time searching for it the next morning.
- Help your child establish a homework routine and stick with it. Some children like to start homework right away. Others need to unwind first with a healthy snack and some play time.
- During daily homework time all other activities must stop. Study area is off limits to company, TV, and music.
- Tell your child what you expect. "You are not to rush through your assignments. Sloppy work with a lot of mistakes is not acceptable. Doing homework and doing it well is a responsibility."
- Talk about school everyday and ask your child to sometimes teach you whatever he or she learned that day. Your child will get the message that you think learning is important.
- Encourage your child to take responsibility for his or her own homework. Let your child know that you are available for help if he or she needs it.
- Encourage your child to seek the teacher's help before leaving school if he or she is ever uncertain about what to do.
- Help your child to choose an appropriate homework spot and to go to it daily. Try to minimize distractions as much as possible, but have your child work in a place where you can monitor progress and provide help when needed.
- If a subject that your child does not understand comes up in a conversation, help him or her locate information in books, encyclopedias and/or the internet.
- If you see your child becoming frustrated with an assignment, reassure him or her that everyone feels frustration. Suggest ways your child can handle frustration, such as taking a break and returning to the work later.
- Guidelines for age-appropriate amounts of homework: kindergarten-10 minutes; first grade-10-20 minutes; second grade-15-30 minutes. Keep this in mind: homework is intended to practice, review, or study information that has already been taught. If your child is having too much trouble understanding
homework that has been given to him/her, write a note to the teacher explaining the situation.