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7 ways to help children with homework

Exercise is an activity to improve health, but people often do not consider the brain as a muscle that needs exercise. In fact, children will not even regard homework as part of exercising your mind or building your mind with knowledge. But that is what it does.

Homework helps children improve in study skills, time management, responsibility, problem solving, and diligence. What is learned in class needs to apply. And schoolwork does just that – it helps build the necessary learning skills to handle future tasks. How can parents and educators help?

We often see homework as another duty that must be completed. Yet, we rarely see this as an opportunity to help children build essential study skills to become independent thinkers. Although there are subjects that parents cannot help with, there is help. Assistance can be provided in many ways: other family members, online help, or hiring a tutor.

Among the great aid that is available to parents, these tips can also help them to help their children with homework:

courtesy of iStockphoto

1.  Provide a well-lit study area 

When a designated area of study is available for children to do their homework, students are more encouraged to learn. Their own table or desk with an adequate chair promotes paying attention to their work, whether it is simply doing math problems, reading, or answering science questions.

By doing schoolwork, it builds on the knowledge presented by the teacher in class. As students work on problems and questions, it should emphasized the concepts and understanding about the lesson the teacher is trying to present.

When you apply the knowledge learned, the concept is recorded in your brain. The brain is capable of storing information learned in useful ways. And when you are able to do homework, you help your brain to memorize information.

2.  Avoid distractions

Loud noises like television, music, sirens can all contribute to not do homework. Prevention is key to allow students to accomplish their schoolwork. Parents can make sure television or music is not part of their study area. Headphones should also not be allowed during the study session. Distractions only delay finishing homework and promote lack of responsibility.

Libraries and separate rooms are excellent ways to encourage students to finish their homework. Many libraries are capable of having individual study rooms. Reservations may sometimes be required. For older children, sometimes studying with a partner can motivate other students to complete their work.

3.  Build a routine or study schedule

Schedules are great ways to reinforce the need to do homework. Just as your brain is capable to store useful information, it also has the ability to sense when you need to learn. By following a routine, students, especially younger ones, will tend to comply with parents to finish their homework.

In fact, young children between the ages of 5 and 7 need 10 to 20 minutes of homework time. Children between the ages of 8 and 10 require at least 30 to 40 minutes. And children between the ages of 11 to 13 require 60 minutes or more, depending on their level of work. High school and college students many even need more structured study time.

4.  Break up the workload

When tasks involve research or extensive studying, make sure students know to break the work in sections to alleviate the burden of finishing the homework. If possible, allow 1 or 2 hours per week to finish the school task until the project is completed.

Agendas and calendars are great tools to encourage students to jot down their goals to complete a project. And many of these organizational tools are now available as apps for mobile phones or other devices.

5.  Provide a reward system

When projects and homework are finally completed, rewards are wonderful incentives for students. For younger children, examples of incentives could be stickers, small toys, playing at a local game venue, or just simply playing with their best friends. For older children, some incentives would depend on their wants.

The decision to follow good grades and completing schoolwork with rewards should be set by the parents. Reward systems are wonderful ways to encourage students, at any age, to motivate them to finish it.

6.  Assist to a minimum

Parents should resist the temptation to finish their children’s work. Not only does this present an opportunity for them to reject homework, but it also shows lack of commitment. Explaining to them that schoolwork is a matter of responsibility may not be easy. But parents should sit down with them to help them understand unfamiliar concepts. And allow them to figure out the proper answer. But when parents lack the knowledge to assist their children in their work, asking for help early can prevent future frustration.

7.  Look out for struggling learners

Even though homework is part of every student’s duty, struggling excessively to finish it should be handled early. As soon as parents see their children struggle in any form of learning, early intervention is key for their success. Parents can find resources for homework help at their local libraries, online, or by hiring a tutor.

Local libraries are great ways to begin to look for sources to help struggling students. But some libraries may be overwhelmed. Online help is another tool to help parents to seek quick information. But hiring a tutor is the most valuable resource parents can have. Tutors are experts and educators in their field to motivate students to succeed.

Spanish4Kiddos tutoring services has helped numerous children to overcome learning struggles. If you need any information about my tutoring services or credentials, please don’t hesitate to contact me. And the greatest compliment I can have from my readers is you shared this article. Thank you.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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