How To Help With Homework, Without Interfering
Homework can be like Ireland's weather: Clear and sunny one minute, pouring the next. Don't panic, it's perfectly normal! Whether this is your child's first year of school or not, each year is different from the last, so the unexpected is always a possibility!
You may not be able to predict the relationship between your child and their homework, but you sure can help guide them toward a good (and relatively stress-free) view of it.
1. Plan a routine
Do homework at the same time, in the same place every day. Test out doing it right after school, when they're still (vaguely) in the mindset. If your schedule is hectic (you're a parent, of course it is) maybe after dinner is best. Whatever time you choose together, make a commitment, and stick to it.
2. Show support
Always ask about their school day. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions or problems they encounter. kids are more easily discourages and stressed when they don't understand a problem, and no one is around to help them.
3. Do it together
Limit distractions to help their concentration. If you have more than one child, have them do homework together so jealousy doesn't kick in that one is having fun and the other isn't. This is a great time for you to sit down too and do your own homework (paying bills, catching up on any reading/writing you've been meaning to do, doing an internet food shop etc.) Doing it together will also teach that, even at an older age, there is still 'homework to be done.
4. Motivate organisation
Help them make plan so they don't want to cry over the amount of work they have. It always looks like more than it actually is, and seems like it will take longer than it actually does...as long as they maintain concentration! Creating a homework schedule for the evening can prevent tears, fussing, and chaos.
5. Reward at the finish line
Let's be honest: Your rock star student wants to be doing what they want to be doing; and homework probably isn't it. Rewarding them isn't a bribe, but at a young age it sure does help. if they finish their work in reasonable time without brewing up a storm, give a little extra playtime, television time, or take them for an ice cream (a win-win situation for you and your child!)