How to Get Parents Involved with Homework

Author: Naimish Gohil

Posted: 14 Jun 2013

Estimated time to read: 3 mins

How parents handle helping their children with homework, can reinforce how much of a positive value and that education is important. It can build a stronger bond between the school and the home, as well as improving their work ethic and intuition in broader life. 

Parents see firsthand what is expected of their child at specific grade levels in any academic subject and learn how their child is progressing with certain skills, specifically reading, writing, math, study skills, and overall concepts in additional content areas. Then students more readily understand their responsibility to complete homework and its role in enhancing learning.

However, parental involvement may also have a negative impact. A parent needs to be patient and accepting of the child who may struggle with a concept or a skill, whose work is not as organised as one might expect, and who takes a long time to complete work. Parents, through no fault of their own, may confuse children if they explain things in a different way than their children’s teachers do and if they use confusing vocabulary and techniques.

It is important that the parent does not interfere with the tasks that the child is expected to complete on their own. It is one thing to help a child understand a question, but it is completely different if the parent does the student’s work. Homework is designed to build independent, life-long learning skills for the child so it is best to let this evolve naturally.parental involvement with homework

If you see that your child is struggling with homework, it would be helpful to talk with the teacher and outline possible strategies that you can do to help your own child. Perhaps your child needs review or further explanation, maybe he/she needs help with organisation or help in just getting started on a project.

10 tips for parental involvement in homework:

  • Find a quiet, well-lit place away from distractions to do their work. 
    Finding the right learning evironement can boost academic progress and makes for a happier, more focusseed learner. It also helps childen learn which environement they work best in for future reference
  • Make sure they have everything they need
    Ensure that pencils, pens, rulers, markers, calculators etc. are all available if needed. Having access to learning materials might also be a necessity if you  
  • Be patient
    Remember those teachers who taught you in a way that you enjoyed learning? Try to model this behaviour. Try not to get frustrated when students don't understand something. Simply start from the beginning and consider how you can rephrase your description to make more sense to them.
  • Connect student learning to real life
    You can read and do your paperwork as they complete their work, show that putting in hard work on your own watch can help you achieve. However, take special care not to encourage an unhealthy work ethic. Emphasise the importance of regular breaks, as well as the importance of work. 
  • Support the teacher
    If you are required to play a role in the homework (i.e. sign something, ask questions, edit a document, help study a specific skill, etc.) please do it.
  • Stay informed
    Attend parents evening and school events to show appreciation, support of education and to learn more about classroom expectations.
  • Reward effort and progress in homework 
    Reinforce the positives with some activity your child enjoys: going to the movies, a bike ride or trip to the gym, having a friend sleep over on the weekend, ordering a pizza, etc.
  • Help your child organise the time it takes to do the work
    Often a set time is helpful. Encouraging your child to do work earlier in the evening and to start on long-term projects well in advance of when they are do are helpful suggestions.
    You may want to point out ways to tackle certain assignments or discuss why it might be important to complete the easier and shorter work first. Also, encourage short breaks after completing an amount of work to sustain concentration and interest.

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