Be Aware of the Assignments. Rather than waiting until the night before a project is due to begin working on it, it’s best to stay on top of everything that is assigned. Save some of the larger project work for the weekends so as not to pressure your child to complete everything after a long day of school. It also helps to keep track of when your child has a test coming up so you can break down studying into smaller segments. Most young kids aren’t pulling all-nighters to study for a math or science test, but it’s always better to go over the information a bit at a time, rather than cramming the night before an exam.
Use Praise. Don’t forget to praise your child for their hard work. As the mother of three children, one of whom has a learning disability, I can’t stress enough the importance of positive feedback and praise. When I go over my son’s completed homework with him, I always begin with everything he did right. When I get to a place where he has an incorrect answer, I try and make it a fun problem to solve. Pointing out a child’s errors over and over can make the child feel insecure in that subject area.
Take an Active Interest. It’s a fact that children do better in school if parents take an active interest in their work. Show your child that you are interested by being available and attentive while they are completing their assignments.
The most important advice I can give is to maintain open communication with your child’s teacher. If assignments are taking longer than expected to complete, or if your child doesn’t understand the main concepts of an assignment, it’s time to call or email the teacher. Not only will your child’s teacher have a better understanding of how your child is learning, but they may also be able to provide some tips to help you during homework time.