Homework help: Ways to make helping with homework less pressure

The new school year is about to begin, and that means that your child will be receiving homework!

Homework can generate massive pressure in families, anxiety that can be avoided by following these six easy rules.

1.  Do not do your child’s homework for them.

This is a definite no-no, but I know many parents who, frustrated by their child’s problems and the pressures of school, do some or all of their child’s homework.  Please stop!  Look over the next four ‘rules’, following them will mean that you never have to do this again!

2.  Know the homework strategy

You need to know the school strategy about homework.  How much is your child likely to do?  What about nights he is doing other things such as football practice?  Who will give homework and how will it be marked?

Any teacher worth his or her salt will be happy to talk to you about this.

3.  Communicate with your child’s teacher

The teacher needs to know if your child is finding the homework too easy or too tough.  He or she will not be able to adjust your child’s homework unless you discuss three issues.  You don’t have to visit the school, although you can, a short note stating the problem should get you the changes your child needs.

4.  Don’t let it take too long

Believe it or not homework is not meant to be a penalty.  Your child should be able to finish his work in a reasonable time so that he has time for other things.  If your child consistently takes longer than is expected (see rule #2) you need to do something about it. Try using rule #3.

5.  Keep homework in standpoint

Homework is important. The best homework is a way your child can practice the skills that have been learned in school.  Except for some types of project work homework should not be about learning anything new.  Don’t get upset, or let your child get upset, when homework is too difficult – or too easy.  In both cases it is time to tell the teacher and review what type and quantity of work your child is being given.

And, almost as important as rule #1-

6.  Don’t try to teach your child how to do their homework

For starters, that is the job of the teacher, and the way you may try to help your child could be very different from the way the teacher taught your child.  The confusion this situation causes can lead to frustration, anger and even tears.

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