Academic success is linked closely to the role a parent plays at home. Before homework frustrations set in, remember that it's a tool to review, consolidate, extend work done in class. In some cases, parents may not know how to help kids to build learning skills at home. You're not alone. Here are some tips:
- Help your kids manage their after-school time. Keep a weekly schedule and fill it with regularly scheduled items like soccer practice, ballet rehearsal, dinner and bed time. Then, make appointments for homework. Does your schedule include enough relaxation and downtime? Post the schedule on your fridge or bulliten board where everybody in your home can see it.
- Keep distractions to a minimum and help your kids keep focused by creating a homework haven that suits their needs.Make sure your kid is ready to learn. A good night's sleep is important.
- Ensure they are well-nourished and hydrated. Breakfast is key in the morning. Drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Show interest. Talk to your kids. From time to ask: "How are things at school?" "How did the math test go? The history report?" "Do you need help?" Pay attention for any signs of struggle. And arrange help when necessary.
- Pay attention to report cards or letters from the teacher or principal. Also, listen to your kid's cues like, "He’s an awful teacher." Or "She goes too fast." But be cautious about contacting teachers without your kid’s approval or interest.
- Read for pleasure. Your kids will learn by example.
- Congratulate them when they work hard and celebrate learning. Encourage them to finish homework and to hand in assignments on time.
- When either you or your child starts to feel overwhelmed, let’s keep in mind that their happiness shouldn't be completely dependent on academic success. Parents can build self-worth and confidence in other areas of their kid's life.