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Are kids more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework?

dad taking an interest in your kids homeworkThere is a lot of debate on whether kids have too much homework these days.  Teachers say the idea of homework is not just for revision and continual learning after hours but to prepare them for when they get into year 11 and 12 or even Uni.  It’s preparation, so that study is not so much of a shock and they have learned skill around how to actually do it.  The question I have heard recently is – are kids more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.

If you kids are anything like mine, it is a constant struggle to get them to concentrate on any homework at home.  I do all the right things like switching off the TV, create an environment that is non distracting and still they don’t care much for it.  It could be because they have had enough of the work during the day? who knows, but there is homework to be done, so we get it done with as little upset as possible.

Of course, helping with homework shouldn’t mean spending hours hunched over a desk. The idea is that we as dads are supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? We might even learn a thing or two! 🙂

Here are some homework tips to guide the way:

  • Know the teachersand what they’re looking for.  Attend school events, such as parent-teacher nights (arrange a separate meeting if you can’t attend together), to meet your child’s teachers.  Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.
  • Set up a homework-friendly area.  Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework.  Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
  • Schedule a regular study time.  Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
  • Help them make a plan.  On heavy homework nights or when there’s an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)
  • Make sure kids do their own work.  They won’t learn if they don’t think for themselves and make their own mistakes. We can make suggestions and help with directions.  But it’s a kid’s job to do the learning.
  • Be a motivator and monitor.  Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.
  • Set a good example.  Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book?  Kids are more likely to follow our examples than our advice.
  • Praise their work and efforts. Post good results or an art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.
  • If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about it with your child’s teacher.  Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others might need an evaluation for a learning problem or attention disorder.  It’s very common for kids to have special learning teachers visit them and help with reading, spelling or maths.  Most schools provide this service free of charge.


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