The ABC's for parents wanting to help with homework

  • Assume that your children will have homework every night.
  • Ask if they understand their assignments. If they don't, work a few examples together.
  • Stay in touch with teachers, and ask how you can help support their lessons.
  • Praise your children for doing well, and keep a portfolio of "best pieces."
  • Create an environment conducive to homework. Children should have a designated spot in the house that's clean, well lit and has the supplies they'll need. Keeping reference books, pens, rulers and the like in one place can save a substantial amount of homework time.
  • Ask your children to see their homework after the teacher returns it, to learn where they're having trouble and where they're doing well.
  • Remember, you and the teachers want the same thing: to help your children learn.
  • Help older students organize by recording them in a calendar or planner.
  • Designate a particular time of day for schoolwork. Some children need to burn off energy doing other things when they first get home from school, and can settle down later in the evening; others prefer to get the task done right away before they get distracted by other things.
  • Ask the school for tips on developing good study habits.
  • Expect about 15 minutes of homework per night per grade level, so a first grader would have 15 minutes, a fourth grader an hour, and so on, says Weselak of the National PTA. That's a standard recommended by the PTA and the National Education Association.
  • Show your children that you think homework is important. Ask to see their work if you haven't been home while they were doing it.
  • Don't do your children's work for them. Help them learn to do it themselves.

Source: National Parent Teacher Association

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