The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Give your kids some help


November 30, 2005

District 55 Superintendent

Recently I read an article on the Internet at a site with the address

It reminded me when my own children would bring home school work. I was never sure how much help to provide. If I helped too much, I felt like I was giving them the answers. If I gave too little help, they often got frustrated.

As I read through the article, I thought how nice it would have been helpful to have had the information offered in the article. With that thought, I am passing on the information to our Sweet Home parents so they may avoid some of my own parental frustrations. Listed below are twelve ideas for your consideration.

1. Make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit place to do homework. Avoid distractions like television or other children playing nearby.

2. Make sure the right materials are on-hand — things like paper, pencils and a dictionary. If special items are required get them in advance.

3. Help your child with time management. Establish a set time for doing homework. Think about using weekends for doing big projects.

4. Be positive. Stress the importance of doing quality work. Please remember that children normally reflect the attitudes of their parents.

5. When your child does homework, you do homework. If your child is reading, you read too. If your child is doing math, balance your checkbook. Be a good role model.

6. When your child asks for help, provide guidance not answers. Giving your child the answers will not help him/her learn the materials and too much help teaches your child that when the going gets rough, someone will do the work for them.

7. When the teacher asks you to play a role in homework, do it. Collaborate with the teacher. It shows your child that the school and home are a team.

8. If homework is meant to be done by your child, stay away. Homework is a great way for kids to develop independence and lifelong learning skills.

9. Stay informed. Talk with your child's teacher regularly. Make sure you know the purpose of the homework and what the rules (expectation) are in your child's class.

10. Help your child figure out what is hard and what is easy. Have your child tackle the hard work first. This is when your child is most alert and can tackle the biggest challenges.

11. Watch for signs of failure or frustration. Let your child take a break if you notice she/he is having trouble keeping his/her mind on an assignment.

12. Reward progress. If your child has been successful in homework completions and is working hard, celebrate that success with a special event.


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