Homework can be a battle even for the best of children. No one wants to do work after they have finished for the day and children are no exception. Despite this, and despite the fact that elementary school homework is usually fairly light, it is important that you fight these battles now. It will help your child learn the strategies that will get them through school and life.
Proper study skills, including organization and discipline, are just as important as the fundamental academic concepts you child is learning. If you don't help your child to learn these skills at home, however, they might never come into them on their own-especially if your child is smart enough to skate by without them.
When you child begins school be prepared to create a regular homework routine. Making a place for homework on the regular schedule reinforces the idea that it is a permanent and important part of life. It also nips the idea of procrastination in the bud. Designate a specific space for homework time, one with no distractions, and set your child up in this space every night for an appropriate length of time.
If your child had no homework from school, then use the time for the study of concepts and subjects that your child is having trouble with. Alternatively treat it as a quiet reading time. Make sure homework time happens every night at the same time without fail. This will help your child to establish a habit of doing homework.
One of the hardest parts of helping your child with their homework is learning to lead them to answers without simply giving them the answers. It is very easy to answer a question, but it is much harder and more trying to try and inch your child down a foreign path of thought or reasoning. Despite this, you must resist the urge to answer. If you don't, you might as well do the child's work for them. At the same time that you must refrain from answering though, it is important to make yourself available to your child during homework time.
An involved parent is an invaluable learning tool. If your child wants your help then it is important that they have access to it. Staying involved will also help you to know where your child needs work and what you can do to help. For example, a child that needs to improve their skills at solving word problems might benefit by being asked to translate every day occurrences into the word problems they struggle with. Ask your child to tell you how many quarters they should get if their allowance is two dollars and then pay them accordingly.
Translating school skills to the practical space of your life will help your child see the connections and succeed. Your involvement can also catch problems with your child's academic endeavors while they are still easily fixed and before they become serious.
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