Learning doesn’t stop when the last bell rings at school. When students bring work home, it is a great time for parents to play a role in their child’s education. Homework has many benefits, such as providing extra time for research or practice, helping students develop study skills and teaching time management skills. Here are five tips to help your child benefit by the time spent on assignments and maximize their learning.
- Study space: Set up a quiet, well-lit area for your child to complete his or her homework. Try to remove any distractions from the surrounding area, like televisions, computers (unless used for the assignment) and loud conversations.
- Imitation: Children imitate their parents. When your child is focusing on homework, join them in a similar, focused activity. Crack open a favorite novel while they complete their reading assignment, or balance your checkbook while they work through their multiplication tables.
- Time management: Teach your child how to manage their time. Schedule events, homework, and tasks at home. For instance, after school, set a specific time as “homework time” and for tasks at home give them time limits.
- Encourage independence: Some homework assignments are meant to be done by the student alone, and hovering can take away from the child’s learning process. Try to step back, and if intervention is really needed, make sure to provide guidance, not just answers.
- Tackle a challenge: Teach your child how to identify the difference between the “hard” homework questions and the “easy” ones. Have them set aside the easier questions for later and tackle the hard ones first
Margaret Yau is a student at the University of California, San Diego, and an intern in ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach