Help, It’s Homework Time?
The Joy of Homework
At some point most parents encounter the problem, or joy, of homework. So what, if anything, can we parents do to help?
Here are some practical tips on how to support children when they ask for help.
- Set aside a time each day for family learning.
Set aside at least 30 minutes, devoted to “family brain cell development.” During this time, there should be no TV, video games, computer games, etc.
Model your own excitement for learning by reading a book, writing letters, etc.
Your child may learn by doing their homework, reading about something they love or writing stories, etc.
- Help only when your child truly wants it.
Some parents make the mistake of forcing help upon their kids. This only creates frustration, anger, and kids who believe they can’t learn without their parents’ help.
- Help only when there’s an absence of anger or frustration.
When either you or your child gets frustrated or angry, learning becomes associated with frustration and anger.
If this happens it may be time to get professional help.
- Help only when your child can describe what the teacher said.
This ensures that your child continues to believe that it’s important to pay attention to teachers.
Unfortunately, some kids learn that it’s best to “tune–out” at school and let their parents do all of the teaching at home.
- Move away from your child before he/she “gets it.”
Some children believe they can only learn something, or “get it,” when an adult is in the same room…or is guiding them every inch of the way.
To prevent this dependency, avoid falling into the habit of sitting at the table as your child does their homework, especially when they are on the brink of learning something new.
- Reward progress and completion of homework, reinforce positive effort.
A hundred years ago the mind was viewed as a muscle that needed regular exercise to become strong. Therefore, homework was seen as mental exercise that should and could be carried out easily at home. This exercise usually meant memorising dates, texts and tables.
As time went by homework went out of fashion and was even frowned upon as preventing children from taking part in social or sporting activities.
However, ideas about how the mind works and the best ways to educate young minds have continually been challenged and changed over time.
One thing is certain, homework is here to stay and it does benefit children when monitored and set correctly.
Teachers still give homework to children to help them remember important facts but it is also given to help them develop study skills which they can use long after they leave school.
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