Education & Training

Homework Help Starts with Parental Involvement

Parents Inspire Good Study Habits by Being Strong Role Models

Parents can instill good study habits in children. Provide a positive learning environment, set a good example, & take a genuine interest in what the student is learning.

Parents of elementary and secondary school children can look forward to many months of homework as the new school year begins. Moms and dads typically dread the thought of begging children to get academic assignments completed. What’s worse than homework? For parents it’s the thought of the dreaded parent-teacher conference. Some mothers and fathers will resort to almost anything, including bribery, to get a child to complete his homework.

Kids are smart – manipulative, even – and most bribery tactics don’t usually work. A parent who wants a child to apply himself willingly to the educational experience – including homework assignments – has to set a good example for the student to follow. When a child sees his parents taking an active interest in algebra, science, history, and English, it’s very likely he or she will do the same.

How Parents Can Promote a Good Homework and Learning Environment

The parent who grumbles about bringing work home from the office can very well expect a child to pick up the same negative attitude about homework. When a parent takes short cuts to get a job done for the boss, or performs the job in a sloppy manner, the child figures it is okay to cut corners and be messy too. How can parents promote a positive learning environment?

  • Avoid procrastinating. This doesn’t mean that work brought home from the office has to be done the minute the adult steps inside the house. It means work comes ahead of watching the football game on TV, going out with friends, etc. When kids see parents acting responsibly toward office work, they are likely to follow the example.
  • Work in an appropriate setting. For most parents this means a den or home office. The student’s homework space – like a parent’s office – should be consistent and free from distractions, including the TV. Parents can help younger students develop good study habits by assigning a specific workspace. The kitchen table is probably the most popular place to do homework and is usually visible to parents who want to keep a watchful eye on the child’s progress.
  • React positively to work that has to be done. It’s hard to get enthused about working outside the office – or school – especially when there are so many other desirable things one could be doing. But enthusiasm is what kids need to see to get motivated.
  • Take pride in a job well done. The parent who is proud of the presentation he’s worked up for tomorrow’s executive meeting is setting the stage for a child faced with homework.

Related reading:: 5 Fixes for Homework Tantrums

Parents Can Help Children with Homework Without Breaking Rules

Communicate with the teacher on a regular basis to see how the child is progressing. Meanwhile, avoid the temptation of giving out answers when working with the child at home. There are ways of helping a student complete assignment without breaking the rules:

  • Parents that get excited about homework, class projects, and special events like science fairs and art shows, are very likely to pass that same excitement on to their children. Kids need support from parents to gain confidence. They need to know their accomplishments really do matter.
  • Provide materials to get the job done. If the older child needs time on a computer and there is no computer at home, then head for the public library (without grumbling).
  • Apply homework topics to real life. A lot of kids think homework (and schoolwork) is busywork. Situations occur later in life that may depend on skills and information learned in school.
  • Supply motivational aids and offer suggestions outside the classroom to encourage learning. Kids who show an interest in the animal kingdom might enjoy a subscription to Zoo Books children’s magazines. A student with a passion for gardening might like to join the local garden club and perhaps enter an exhibit in the town fair.
  • Offer study skills that might help the student struggling with a homework assignment. Encourage a child to practice reading by speaking into a tape recorder, for example, or practice public speaking by using the same method. Demonstrate word association games, mention interesting trivia details related to math or history, or work with the student to create some other useful method for retaining information. Visit one of the online homework help sites available to students that need help completing a homework assignment.

Related reading: Focusing On Your Homework: How To Stay Undistracted

Conclusion

There are many ways parents can encourage a child to do homework, but one of the best methods is setting a good example. Providing the proper workplace for homework and showing enthusiasm sets the stage for learning good study skills. Provide assistance – not answers, and stay away when students are ordered by the teacher to work alone. Homework does not have to be a problem. Parents can provide plenty of homework help by offering encouragement and promoting the right attitude toward education.


Author Bio: Dean Dellinger is a freelance writer, blogger and creative mind. His motivating articles, as well as his stories, are intended to expand the reader’s knowledge and understanding of educational and career opportunities.


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