When your child gets home from school, it is important to discuss their day and find out what homework they have been given. This allows you and your child to create a plan for getting the homework done.
Some children would rather jump right in and complete their homework rather than have it on their mind all afternoon. Others need a mental break from the day before they can delve into more schoolwork. Either scenario is fine, as long as there is a mutually agreed upon plan.
It is also important to give your child a healthy snack or dinner before they begin their homework. Hunger can be a major distraction, and kids are usually looking for any excuse to put off doing their homework. Eliminate the chance of this distraction by providing a healthy snack, preferably with protein. Good snacks include a piece of bread with peanut butter, some turkey and carrots or a fruit smoothie. These snacks should keep their energy level up and keep them from feeling lethargic.
Next, decide on the best environment for your child to do their homework in. It could be at a desk in their room, at the kitchen table or in an office. Any area is fine as long as it is relatively free from distractions. Never allow your child to do homework with the television on. Many people prefer light background music, and studies have shown that it could be beneficial to thought, versus a room that is dead silent.
Before your child sits down to work, be sure that all the supplies they will need are readily available at the table. Also be sure that they have used the restroom and that they have a glass of water to drink. Avoiding these potential distractions will save your child time once they begin their homework, as well as preventing breaks in their concentration level.
The amount of assistance you provide your child with their homework, again depends on the child. If you are concerned, consult their teacher for guidance on how much help they should be getting. In general, you should be available to answer questions but not hanging over their shoulder doing the work for them.
It is especially important to not overly assist your child on school projects. Parents tend to put too much emphasis on the quality of their child’s cotton ball igloo or Popsicle stick replica of the White House. Oftentimes, parents end up making it their project and the child loses out on a valuable learning experience.
The most important things to remember when helping your child with their homework is to help them stay organized, provide a comfortable work environment and answer any questions they ask without being too involved.
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