FIVE QUICK TIPS FROM A PARENT IN THE KNOW
MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD KNOWS WHAT TO DO
§ The school provided agenda or homework book is gold. It holds the key to what homework your child must do, and when it is to be done. Encourage your child to respect timelines and due dates by writing down all homework assignments in their agenda. Have your child check things off as they complete them.
HELP YOUR CHILD STAY ON TOP OF BIG ASSIGNMENTS
§ Use the agenda or another calendar to keep track of big assignments. Break the assignment down into weekly and daily portions. This will help your child keep track of their progress, and stay on top of the assignment.
§ Create a quiet workspace where your child can work without any interruptions. No TV, loud music, or high traffic areas of the home. Let your child get comfortable in their workspace. If they can manage it without a disastrous mess, a small snack and covered drink may help make the routine bearable. Sit with child at the start and end of homework time so the start off right and end by reviewing their work with you.
HAVE SOUND TRANSPORTATION
§ Left to their own devices, children can fold homework sheets into size of postage stamps. Use a strong folder or Ziploc bag to house assignments for the trip to and from school. Put a strong piece of cardboard inside the Ziploc bag to keep sheets flat.
ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE ABOUT HOMEWORK BUT AVOID NEGOTIATIONS
§ Provide your child with flexibility and acceptable choices of when homework gets done; before or after TV hour, before or after jujitsu class, first thing in the morning, but make sure the final message is the same. Homework must get done. The end.
§ Ask open-ended questions about your child's work. What did you find hard about your work? Why is math your favourite subject? What are some new words you learned in spelling? Can you use those words in a sentence? The ability to explain a concept to someone else demonstrates a full understanding of the material.
Always remember that homework should encourage positive study habits and organizational skills that last a lifetime.