As a loving parent, it’s only natural that you’d want to help your kids in any way you can. That means funding their hobbies, cooking them scrumptious dinners, and of course offering a bit of discipline when needed!
However, the matter of homework often gets left by the wayside. It was only two years ago that it was reported that UK parents are helping with homework less and less, which is a startling road to go down. Many parents assume that the teacher means for the pupil to complete this work alone. Well, they’re wrong!
So, here’s a few great ways to help your child with their homework.
Don’t Give Them Answers
If your idea of helping your child is walking past them and shouting an answer on the way to get a coffee, then that’s not really helping. Under this method, when exam period comes along, they’ll struggle.
In a survey from YouGov, most participants agreed that children should be helped with their homework, but that they shouldn’t be given answers. Therefore, the best way to help your child with their work is to help them understand the building blocks of the material. That way, they’ll feel a sense of achievement when they get their answer.
For example, if it’s mathematics homework, guide them through the workings out instead of giving a quick answer. Prompt answers, and don’t give them.
Understand How They Learn
Who said that you can only help with homework when homework is due? There are lots of different things you can do between assignments that will help your child with their next projects.
For example, you can try to gauge how your child best learns through memory techniques. Do they learn best through image association, or could it be that sounds, letters and acronyms jog their memory? Once you know how they interpret information, you can then better strategize your efforts to help them.
Your kids can even use these memory techniques to do better in school, so this isn’t limited to the home learning environment alone. School is about equipping kids with skills to get on in life, and if you can do some of that yourself, you’re putting them in a much better position than they’d be in otherwise.
Learn with Them
Many parents don’t understand much of the homework their kids come home with. If that’s you, you’re not alone. Unsurprisingly, a quarter of parents don’t help their children due to ‘fear of embarrassment’ alone, which, while understandable, is certainly not acceptable.
Even if you don’t understand the work your child is doing, sit with them and get involved. It might be they end up teaching you some of the material, which might give them confidence and motivate them further. Hearing their own thoughts aloud could help them, or they might just need a soundboard for encouragement.
You have the chance to lead by example, and if you unashamedly don’t know something, that’ll teach them to be the same. They’ll ask questions in class without fear of being judged, and not feel a need to compensate for gaps in their knowledge with cowardly behaviour. That’s all a better lesson than any piece of homework could teach.
Helping with homework is an opportunity to bond with your child, and you can teach them lessons about life beyond what’s in the books in front of them. Give it a go! At worse they’ll tell you to go away (what else is new?), or they’ll appreciate you took the time to sit down with them.