Author: Victoria Candland
Fall is settling in, school has begun and your kids once again have gobs of homework to do. You want to help your kids with their homework, and you should, but there are different ways to handle homework for different ages. Here are a few tips for each age group that will help your kids flourish this school year.
If you haven’t done so already, sit you kindergartener down and establish the expectations for homework time. Kids need to know what you expect out of their homework performance now instead of waiting for problems to arise later. Let your child know that he/she needs to get all of homework done before watching TV or playing outside. Set a regular time for homework and persist with it daily—kids thrive off of routine.
You need to set a good example for your kids of someone who likes to learn. When they are doing homework, sit beside them and read a book about nutrition or the stock market or another subject that peaks your interest so your child will see that even adults, who’ve been out of school for a while, are still eager to learn.
When helping your fifth grade child with homework, be careful to not do the work for them. It’s always such a bother when a third grader comes into class carrying her replica of a human cell complete with light-up nucleus and moving mitochondria obviously made by her parents. You want your children to think through problems on their own and learn to rely on their brain and their abilities.
If your son or daughter is struggling with reading or math in class and is getting behind, it is a great idea to hire a tutor. A college student majoring in math can help your child for a low cost. These are the most essential years when your child learns not only how to do math, but also develops confidence as a student. A tutor will help your child get caught up to classmates so that your little student does not fall further behind next year.
Middle schoolers don’t need as much attention as your elementary aged kids, so give them more space. This is the age when kids are becoming more involved in technology, smartphones, video games, etc. so remove all distractions from the designated homework area. A good place for this area is one filled with natural light.
Kids are often fragile and self-conscious during their middle school years. This is the time when praise is vital. If your son solves a hard math problem or writes an eloquent book report, express to him how smart and talented you think he is. Even if your son is struggling in school, praise him for the things he is doing right.
During middle school, your daughter will start to be given larger, more complex assignments that may seem daunting and impossible to complete. Teach her how to break big projects into smaller ones—a life skill she’ll carry into her career and on through the rest of her life. If she has a big research project on the history of Genghis Khan complete with 11-page research paper and Powerpoint presentation, help her split the project into 5-7 feasible tasks.
In high school, your kids will generally have more independence. They don’t need you sitting there scrutinizing every piece of homework they finish. Let your son know you’re available if he has any questions or needs advice on how to tackle an assignment.
Help your high schooler prioritize and remember tasks by giving them a planner at the start of the school year. If your student needs a little help with time management, ask on Monday about the big assignments due that week and help your child plan time to accomplish them.
Your teenager may be struggling in school despite the best of efforts from both of you. Maybe your child is getting bullied and it’s directly affecting grade performance or maybe the teachers are going too quickly through the material. Consider trying schooling alternatives like at-home education like homeschooling or an online charter school. Online charter schools let students work at their own pace and give them the freedom they need to get their assignments done.
Say your daughter is an aspiring professional ballerina and wants to dedicate more time to dancing—she will be able to dedicate the time she needs to her art by going to an online charter high school. Or perhaps you’re a college professor and you want to take your son with you on a sabbatical to Japan—if he’s going to an online charter school, he will have the ability to get his assignments done no matter what country he’s in. To learn more about online charter schools and their benefit, visit this article.
Homework does not have to be a stressful undertaking for your children and you can help them successfully learn and gain more confidence by using these tips.