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Homework: How to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Homework:  How to Help Your Child Succeed in School

McKenzie Pediatrics 2012

Parents have a strong influence on their children’s success in school, which is closely linked to preparing their homework assignments to the best of their abilities. By supporting and praising your child’s academic efforts and creating an atmosphere at home that encourages learning and doing homework, you can help your child do well in school.

Laying the Groundwork

Young children generally look forward to going to school. You and the child’s older brothers and sisters can encourage these positive feelings by letting the child know how exciting you think it is to read, write, count, draw, sing songs, play games, and make new friends.

Children are more likely to succeed at school when their families make it clear that they value academic achievement and when parent praise their children’s efforts. Believing that one’s child has the ability to success is essential. By being interested in what is happening at school each day and listening to what the child reports, you build the child’s self-esteem. Commenting on the school work the child brings home, posting it on the refrigerator door, and proudly telling other people about the child’s accomplishments has the same effect.

You can encourage your child’s learning by reading to her every day, beginning in the first year of life. Have books, magazines, and newspapers available in your home. Give your young child books as gifts or rewards, and encourage building with blocks, drawing, and cutting with scissors. Talk with your child during meals, shopping, and trips. Take her to libraries, book stores, plays, concerts, and museums, and encourage an interest in nature: flowers, leaves, butterflies, birds, rocks, stars, and animals.

Hints for Homework

An important part of school success is doing homework assignments competently, completely, and on time. You can make it natural and rewarding for the child to spend a certain portion of his after-school time doing homework by following some common-sense guidelines:

Heading Off Problems

It is useful to find out at the beginning of the school year how much time your child will be expected to spend on homework and what assignment books and study aids the school will provide.

Children do best when their parents participate in school activities, so attend parent-teacher conferences and try to serve as a volunteer in the classroom or on field trips.

If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, progress, or failure to understand assignments, or about the amount of work assigned, promptly consult your child’s teachers.

Homework problems have many causes, but managing them can be as simple as cutting back on the schedule of a child who is tired because of too many after-school activities.