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You are an integral part of your child’s education and will have a direct impact on the knowledge and skills that he gains throughout his school years. It is why it is incredibly vital that you understand your role and responsibility in their learning process. The purpose of homework is to help kids become independent learners which means that you don’t need to be as involved as you might think. Your role is simple – you need to help your child develop good study habits and address any issues he may have along the way.
1. Create a regular homework routine
• Have regular homework timings
Daily homework timings provide structure and increase your child’s productivity. Some children prefer to unwind or have a meal before they do their homework while others want to get it done right away. Allow your child to decide on their homework timings, but make sure that he adheres to his schedule.
• Create a planner
Instead of merely allotting a certain amount of time towards homework, help your child organize his assignments. It will help to avoid confusion when there are multiple assignments. Younger kids might not need a planner, but it is a good idea to start early using a planner so that they get used to it. This organizational strategy will help them once they are older and need to track due dates for several projects.
• Provide a homework zone
A quiet and spacious work area will help to set the “mood” for studying. A homework zone can be in a communal room, such as the kitchen if your child is younger and requires constant supervision. Older kids who do not require as much assistance can work at a desk in their room.
2. Provide tools and resources
• Utilize daybooks provided by the school
Schools often have a daybook or homework diary for parents to sign daily. It is important to sign your child’s daybook as often as required as it is a means of communication between you and your child’s teacher. It also helps your child understand that his homework is being monitored and that the parents are involved in the education of your child.
• Use online resources
The internet is a great place to find ways to improve your child’s learning process. It also allows you to connect with other like-minded parents who can help address minor issues with homework, such as how to reduce distractions and help your child focus.
• Use offline resources
Even in the age of computers, local libraries can be of immense help to your child. Many libraries have skilled professionals that can help assist and guide your child on how to access and evaluate the information they gain. Libraries are also a good place for kids to meet and do assignments together, which will also help develop social links.
3. Offer guidance and support
• Provide constant encouragement
It’s natural for you to want your child to succeed but if you get frustrated when he doesn’t understand something, it only damages his confidence. Accept that your child will stumble occasionally and be there to encourage them to persevere. Don’t focus only on results but instead acknowledge and reward his effort. Praise your child for every improvement over past assignments as this will motivate him to strive to improve continuously.
• Provide guidance when required
There will be times when your child is unable to handle a particularly difficult problem or assignment by himself. Do not provide the solution right away but instead gently explain how he can find the answer. You can read through the instructions provided by his teacher and familiarize yourself with the assignment to improve the quality of help you provide.
• Help your child stay calm
Homework meltdowns are a common issue as your child struggles to understand and learn new things. Whether your child is in tears or ranting in frustration, you must stay calm. Encourage your child to share his feelings and emotions instead of simply trying to convince him to see things from your point of view. If you feel your anger rising, splash your face with cold water to help you calm down.
Children often have a harder time focusing on a given task, and it can take a while for them to develop this skill, so be patient. Anxiety, lack of motivation and distractions are some of the most common reasons why kids have trouble focusing on their homework. However, sleep and nutrition also play a key role so make sure that your child gets the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep each night and follows a nutritious diet. Kids who eat a lot of junk food are also more likely to suffer from anemia which is a lack of sufficient iron. One of the common symptoms of anemia in kids is difficulty focusing on studies so make sure that your child has a healthy balanced diet. If you feel that your child needs additional help with his homework, ask his teacher if he needs the assistance of a tutor.
Guest Post by Anita Fernandes:
Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.