Each school is a little bit different. Each grade has its own challenges and benefits. From pre-k to college being involved with your child’s education is important. For many parents helping with homework can seem daunting. How much time do you spend? What if you don’t know the answer? What if your kids don’t want your help?
Here are some tips and resources to help you navigate homework help like a pro.
What Parents Should Know—and Do—About Homework
By the National Middle School Association, reposted from National PTA
While it sounds like a no-brainer, knowing the purpose of homework is critical in providing the help your son or daughter needs to get the most out of it. First of all, you need to find out the purpose of homework from the teacher who assigns it. Is homework used to finish work begun at school, to provide more practice with new skills, or to complete large-scale projects? Next, sort out the reasons you want your young adolescent to complete homework. Is it to help develop discipline and a productive work ethic? Finally, frequently speak with your children about the importance of homework, whatever the reasons, so they understand why they are doing it. Read more
Strong Fathers Strong Families
Strong Fathers Strong Families has resources for dads, families, and schools on ways to get dads involved in education. Not sure what questions to ask? Check out the September Strong Family Check-In Calendar in English and Spanish for ideas.
Find more Strong Fathers Strong Families Tips for Dads online.
National PTA Back To School Central
Share ideas in the PTA Great Ideas Bank online community, or check out PTA’s Back To School Central for lots of great articles and tips.
Homework Help and Study Skills
From the National PTA, these online back-to-school resources focus on helpful advice for parents in the areas of homework help.
Five Key Skills for Academic Success and Tips on Ways to help!
Organization, time management, prioritization, concentration and motivation are keys to achieving academic success. Tips to help your child, include ways to:
Get Organized: Make a checklist of things your child needs to bring to and from school every day. Put a copy by the door at home and one in his backpack. Try to check with him each day to see if he remembers the items on the list.
Manage Time: rack assignments on a monthly calendar. Work backward from the due date of larger assignments and break them into nightly tasks.T
Prioritize: Ask your child to write down all the things he needs to do, including non-school-related activities. Ask him to label each task from 1 to 3, with 1 being most important.
Concentrate: Turn off access to email and games when your child works on the computer.
Be Motivated: Link school lessons to your child's life. If he's learning percentages, ask him to figure out the price of a discounted item next time you shop.
Source: National Fatherhood Initiative
- Reading is Fundamental’s "Let's Read Together!" includes a list of resources on selecting books, ways to encourage struggling readers, and partnering with teachers.
- When reading with young children who are still learning to read, move your finger along with the words as you read. This will help them follow along and start to recognize letter and sound combinations.
- With older kids, take a look at their school reading list and read along with them. Every time you come to the end of a chapter or section, talk about it together. Listen to what they thought, and share some thoughts of your own.
Source: PBS Parents
Book suggestions and articles, including an interactive Bookfinder tool that lets you search by age and theme for a book that’s appropriate and interesting for your child.
How Fathers Can Help Their Children Read: Pre-School Stage
Tips for parents with children in preschool, elementary, middle and high school, as well as committing to life long reading.
Reading Tips for Parents
Source: U.S. Dept. of Education
These tips and resources are available in English and Spanish.
What Did You Learn in School Today?: Tips for Getting Your Kids to Talk about School
Talk about your day first.
Conversations about school often happen after sharing something about your day. Maybe a joke someone told at lunch or an interesting bit of current event news would stimulate a conversation about something at school.
Ask direct questions.
Rather than asking, "What did you do at school today?" consider asking some specific questions that will give you specific information you want.
Use the backpack as a conversation starter.
Go through your child’s backpack with them every day after school. You may find the little notes from teachers with assignments on them, as well as tests and homework assignments returned with grades on them.
Homework Help Tips
These links connect you to different resources for helping with homework by age and special situations.
Homework Tips for Teens
Create an Environment Geared Toward Your Teen.
Some teens need privacy, others, prefer people around them. Find the place in your home that your teen is comfortable to do his work. Have the tools they need to get the work done.
Pick a Time and Stick To It.
Let your teen be the one to come up with his daily routine. They are more apt to stick with it this way. Set up a consequence if they are unable to stick to the routine, beforehand.
Resources from the Department of Education for Parents with Students with Special Needs