By: Amy Collett of bizwell.org
Let’s face it: No child wants to come home after seven hours in the classroom only to have to crack open their books once again. However, in most school districts, homework is just a part of life. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to help your child ease their after-school assignment anxieties. From using technology to creating the perfect homework zone, you have the power to help your child get through it. Here’s what you need to know….
With many educators turning to Google Classroom, Study Island, and other online learning portals, having the right technology at home is crucial to your child’s academic success. As such, a tablet is an excellent addition to your educational arsenal. The latest tablets have long battery life and powerful processors to allow you to download the apps your young student needs and gives them plenty of time to use them. If you’re changing service plans, you may be able to find deals on new tablets if you sign up for a new plan.
There are many reasons that a child might not enjoy doing homework. When noise from a younger sibling is part of the problem, it’s time to relocate the workspace from the dining room table to somewhere more suitable — and distraction-free. Find a quiet spot where you can place a desk, lamp, and bookcase; if you need some flexibility, Nashville Parent suggests using a rolling cart. Make sure that your child’s homework area is fully equipped for their needs. Younger kids will need crayons and scissors while older students may need a specialty calculator. All learners need pencils and paper. Check the WiFi signal where they will use their computer or tablet, and add a repeater to the room if your connection is slow.
The goal of homework is to develop good study habits — at least, that’s what one professor from Duke University believes. As your child gets older, having the ability to work independently becomes paramount to their success. Define your homework expectations at the start of each school year and reaffirm these requirements with a homework chart. This may be especially helpful for disorganized children (and parents!).
We mentioned previously that kids don’t typically want to crack open their books as soon as they get off the school bus. Give your kids a few moments to decompress and relax after what has almost certainly been a long day. First things first — let them have a snack, a glass of water, and a hug. Then, decide together if it’s best to do their homework right after snack time, while you are cooking dinner, or after you eat. GreatSchools asserts that large projects may be better off broken down into digestible chunks to prevent your child from becoming overwhelmed. If you need help sticking to a schedule, or you just want to keep track of what your child needs to accomplish before bedtime, try an app like myHomework.
While a little homework never hurt anybody, too much can actually impede a young student’s academic progress by tainting their attitude toward school. If you believe that your child’s at-home workload exceeds reasonable expectations, don’t be afraid to discuss your concerns with their teacher. If your child is in middle or high school, you may need to get the principle involved if there are multiple teachers that send mounds of homework home each night. In this case, you might request that each only send homework home on one night of the week. Remember, they may not communicate across departments, so they might not know that students with a certain schedule are being overloaded nightly.
Homework is not supposed to take over your child’s entire home life. However, it is an obligation, and it’s one they must fulfill. So, give them the tools they need to do so, but do not be afraid to advocate if it is truly too much.