Do you sense that your child is struggling with his schoolwork? Have you been considering ways in which you might be able to help him? Are you concerned that if you don't step in and do something he might see his grades drop? Here are some ideas that just might help your son (or daughter) overcome these struggles and master their homework.
A Regular Place
As you know, children can be easily distracted. For best results it helps to have a designated place in the home where the serious homework is done. When you child goes to that place they know it is for the express purpose of accomplishing their homework tasks. Yes, it is far easier just to send them to their room to do their homework. But, guess what? Their room is their haven. They have every distraction imaginable just waiting to deter them from the task at hand. So, if your child is struggling enough that you need to take homework action, start with a designated place for the task.
A Regular Time
Now, if your kids are like the majority of teenagers, or even elementary school age children, when they get home from school they need to unwind a little. They've just been through a hectic day with all sorts of activities and distractions filling their minds. It's good to let them come home, grab a snack, and go play a little Nintendo or go outside and shoot some hoops for a while. However, it is not good to let them go down to the park and play ball for two or three hours, then come home for dinner, and then be too tired for homework or too distracted because of shows they want to watch on TV that night. Set a regular time to finish all homework before they are totally free for the evening. The best time to finish homework is from about an hour after school until supper time. Set this as a standard for them, and stick to it.
A Regular Routine
Of course, time and place are a part of a regular routine. But another aspect of it is regular reinforcement by you. Keep up with how your child is doing. Go through his homework assignments with him to make sure he understands what the teacher wants accomplished. Then, when he has completed the assignment, look through his work to see if he has fulfilled the assignment correctly. Don't correct his work for him. But you can point out mistakes and have him redo that part of the assignment. Remember, the goal here is not merely good grades, although that is certainly part of the results you are seeking. Your child needs to grasp the work, to understand it, if he is truly accomplishing the intent of having homework at all. It would be counter-productive to do the work for him. But it might be a real bonus to help him through it so that he “gets it.”
Children struggle with homework for a variety of reasons. Tutoring is always an option for struggling students but there can be other solutions such as regulating homework times and routines that can also help a struggling student. Assuming your child has a normal intelligence level and is capable of doing the work, then it is fitting that you determine why he is having difficulty. You are not doing him any favors by letting him lag behind his classmates. As you know, our educational system is a foundational one.. Each grade builds on the one preceding it. Also, each period of the school year is built on the foundation of the last one. To allow your child to fall behind will make the task increasingly difficult for him. Take the time to create a homework environment that will help your child excel. Someday he'll thank you for it. For the present, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing you are providing the best possible atmosphere for him to be successful in his studies!