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Homework Tips

Children learn as much out of school as they do in school. They learn things at home and in their community. Children learn a great deal from their parents, and parents are important partners in the learning experience. Parental interest, common sense, and a few basic skills can help make school a successful learning experience for children. Parental interest sends a strong message to children - that education is important, and that learning can be fun and worth the effort.

Homework is assigned by teachers for many reasons. It can give students extra practice time, enable them to apply the information they’ve learned in class, and help them expand their knowledge. Homework assignments can also help students learn to work independently and can instigate their use of other important resources, such as the public library.

A checklist for helping your child with homework:

  • Try to set aside a special, quiet place with good lighting for homework.
  • Keep basic supplies like paper, pencils, pens, markers, rulers, etc. in a box in the homework area.
  • Try to have a regular time each day to do homework.
  • Help your child use organizational tools, like school planners, calendars, and folders.
  • When children are assigned larger projects that require a few days or weeks to complete, help them to schedule their time and break the assignment into manageable pieces.

Questions to ask your child:

  • What is today's homework/assignment?
  • Is the task clear? Do you understand what you have to do? (If not, suggest calling a classmate).
  • When is the work due?
  • If it is a major project, would it help to make a time line in your planner?

Other ways to help:

  • Be positive, supportive, and encouraging. Remember to look for areas of improvement.
  • Remember that it is your child's homework, not yours.
  • Let your child know that you have confidence in him/her. Remind him/her of past successes, perhaps in sports, music or other difficult homework assignments.
  • Show interest and praise him/her when he/she has done something well.
  • Try to make criticisms or suggestions in a helpful way.
  • Get to know the teacher early in the year, and find out about homework policies and expectations.
  • Call the teacher if there are homework problems or issues you can't resolve. Do it earlier, rather that later before it becomes a major issue.
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