Homework 101 for moms
When did the kids' homework get so complicated? We wish we knew... It can be hard to remember the rules of fractions or the names of every geometrical shape.
Give yourself a break -- it's been a long time since you were staring up at the chalkboard (it's a dry erase board now if that tells you anything). Read on for resources on how to help your children with their homework so you don't look clueless next time they ask.
Meet with the teacher
Teachers are approachable and want to help. That's what they're there for -- to teach. So don't be afraid to approach your child's teacher and ask for tips on the best ways to help with homework. The teacher can give you study guides, resources and the inside scoop on what your child will be learning this year. (They are, after all, the ones making the lesson plans!)
Read your child's textbook
Remember textbooks? Those were the books that served as a guide and resource when you were in school. Well, nothing has changed. They still serve the same purpose. Full of all the information your child (and you!) will need to figure out the assignments, crack one open and learn right alongside your son or daughter.
How to make homework fun >>
Going to YouTube.com and typing in "homework help" brings up thousands of videos you can watch. You'll find podcasts from teachers, tutors and moms like first-grade mom Judy Shei, who made instructional videos to help with homework questions. In Shei's case, she's helping parents understand their children's Chinese homework.
The U.S. Department of Education website has a ton of great tips on helping your child with his homework. There is easy-to-follow advice on everything from how to make homework a regular routine to monitoring assignments. The National Parent Teacher Association website also offers a lot of valuable help. You'll find everything from articles on how to help your child prepare for tests to a checklist of homework hints for parents.
Helpful homework websites for kids >>
Tips to remember when helping with homework
- Guide your child instead of giving him the answers. It's important to let your child figure out the mistakes they've made. Give him hints about areas where he may want to take a second look.
- Praise first, point out mistakes second. When looking over your child's assignment, finding something positive to point out first will keep their confidence high.
- Same time, same place. Make homework a routine. Whether it's completed immediately after school or just following dinner, establishing a routine is key to homework success.
- Help with time management. As your child gets older, his homework load will only become more extensive, and he will need your guidance on how to accomplish everything without burning out.
- Remember to reward. It's important to reward your child for a job well done. According to the National PTA, it's better to evaluate your child's weekly progress rather than rewarding long-term goals like report cards.