Help Your Kids Develop Good Homework Habits

Homework is one of the keys to academic success.

By FamilyTime


The experts agree that parental involvement is crucial to a child's success in school. The question for many parents is how much involvement.

Helping your kids with their homework is a good place to start. You won't do them any favors by doing their homework for them, but a helping hand is great. 

Homework is Important
Let your children know that you place a high value on homework. Set up a schedule and some guidelines and then stick to them. Don't let other, more fun activities push homework to the back burner.   

While the kids are studying, consider reading or doing some desk work yourself. Establishing a quiet, industrious home environment helps set the tone.

Lend a Helping Hand - No More!
Helping youngsters with homework is a good way to keep abreast of their academic progress. It also allows the parent to track what the kids are learning.

When the children are little, they welcome help. When they are older, offer help but only give it when asked.

Never complete the assignment for the child. As tempting as it may be to feed your son or daughter the correct answers, refrain from doing so!

Offer to work on a few problems and then leave the child alone to tackle the rest. Check the work but don't feel you have to correct all errors. It's helpful for the teacher to see the student's pattern of mistakes.

A Time and Place for Homework
Some children do best tackling homework as soon as they come home from school. Others need a break. Decide what is best for your child and then establish a routine. It's never too late to start. 

It's rarely a good idea to leave homework for the hour before bedtime. Both the child and the parent are tired.

Provide a clean, quiet area with good light. Discourage distractions such as radios, iPods,  and television. Some children concentrate best with "white noise," which could be classical music or jazz -- not rock or rap.

If your child completes assignments at the dining room table, don't insist he work at his desk. Ascertain what works best for this particular child.

Call the Teacher
If your child is having trouble understanding assignments or completing them, don't waste too much time before contacting the teacher.

Tell your child about your concerns and that you plan to call the teacher. The student may have some insight into the problem that you can discuss with his teacher.

Encourage and Praise
Encourage your children to take their homework seriously. Praise them when they finish it. Ask about tough assignments the next day -- let them know you're interested. It will pay off from year to year.