Making sure your kids are completing their homework is often one of the least favorite tasks on the parenting to-do list. Motivation can be especially hard for kids who despise or lack confidence in a particular subject. Helping your kids with their homework is a hotly debated topic right now. One study showed that parental involvement had little impact on children’s academic performance, while other research suggests it’s how you help that makes an impact.
So, what can you do to assist your kids with their homework in a way that benefits both you and them? This list of dos and don’ts from Matheaze Tutors is a great place to start.
DO: Reward with Educational Screen Time or Outdoor Play
Motivate your child to focus on their homework by giving them a reward for completing their assignments. Hopefully, by consistently finishing homework on time, their grades and test scores will improve; so, rewarding good grades might not be as impactful as rewarding the effort for completing their work at home.
Screen time is highly sought after by kids, especially when they don’t want to do homework. Reward them by letting them play games on the computer or tablet. If your child is experiencing lag with video games, consider upgrading your internet connection to solve this problem and increase your child’s enjoyment. During their allotted screen time, kids can also connect to endless fun learning apps, from mathematics to reading.
Time in the great outdoors is also an amazing reward for completing assignments. From bird watching to treasure hunts, getting your kids outside and active will not only be positive reinforcement for taking care of their school responsibilities but will also promote healthy choices. You can get the whole family involved by going out for a hike, taking a camping trip, or visiting a national park.
DON’T: Give Your Child the Answers
It might be tempting. You have work to do and the kitchen still needs to be cleaned, and your child just isn’t quite understanding the math problem. It’s easy to just give in and give your child the answer so that you can all move on with the rest of your evening. But deep down, you know this isn’t helping your child at all. When test time rolls around, your kid will not know how to show their work and come up with the answer all on their own. Giving your child the answer causes more harm in the long run, even if it makes homework help easier in the short run. Be patient and work through the problem along with your child, asking leading questions that can help guide them through the steps to the answer. If you need assistance, connect with Matheaze Tutors for private tutoring and test prep services.
DO: Teach Time Management
Homework success is about helping your kids find balance with all of their after-school activities. From homework to sports practice, from chores to playing with friends, developing time management skills will set them up for more than homework success — you’re setting them up for life success. When you help your kids understand how to manage their time efficiently, you give them an opportunity to spend more time doing what they enjoy. Since kids these days are natural tech gurus, get them excited about planning their time and managing their projects by using a productivity app on your phone or tablet.
DON’T: Make Homework a Stressful Event
Nagging your kids to get their work done or punishing them when it hasn’t gone exactly as you planned will only breed resentment and further your children’s distaste for homework. No matter how much rewarding you do, homework is still homework, and few kids will get excited about that. However, you can take steps to reduce the amount of stress surrounding homework. It’s easy as a parent to get frustrated when your kids aren’t cooperating. Take a deep breath and try to look at the situation more deeply. Why are they resisting? Find the answer to that question, and you’ll find the path to making homework more enjoyable and less painful.
Doing school work at home — when kids would rather be playing video games or running around outside — teaches kids an important lesson about responsibility. Your support doesn’t mean you do the work for them; it simply means you can help encourage them to take ownership and pride in their work and commitments.