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Homework Helpers

Children who do homework regularly are more likely to succeed in school. ThisĀ  describes ways for you to support and encourage your child to accept homework as a fact of life-and get it done!

1. Communicate your belief that homework is an important part of learning. When you show that you're serious about homework, your child will take it more seriously.

2. Make an agreement with your child about how much after-school time he/she will spend doing homework each day. Guidelines for maximum times:

  • For children in the primary grades (first through third) 15-30 minutes.
  • For children in the upper elementary grades (fourth through sixth) 30-45 minutes.
  • For middle school students: up to 1 hour.
  • For high-school students: up to 2 hours

3. Work with your child to establish a homework schedule and do your part to honor it. For example: If your child is suppose to do homework from 5:00 to 6:00 each night, don't serve dinner at 5:45.

4. Provide a place where your child can work. It should be comfortable, adequately lit, and free from distractions. Give your child some choices. If he/she wants to listen to soft instrumental music, sit on the floor, or work in low light, that's okay-as long as he/she works for the expected amount of time and keeps up with the teacher's expectations. If these conditions are not met, he/she should do his/her homework at a table or desk in a quiet place until her work improves. When favorable reports start coming home from the teacher, let your child make choices again about the homework environment.

5. Create a "homework kit." Include pencils, rulers, glue, tape erasers, a dictionary, a thesaurus, etc.-any materials your child needs to do homework. Keep everything together in a plastic storage bin or tote. Put smaller items in a zippered case.

6. Remember that you child's homework is his responsibility, not yours! You are only responsible for providing a place where he/she can work and for making sure that he/she isn't interrupted. Monitor incoming phone calls and don't allow visitors.

7. What if your child "forgets" his/her homework? Or what if the teacher doesn't give any homework on a particular day? Your child should use his/her regularly scheduled homework time to work on some other type of learning activity. Example: looking at the newspaper, reading a book or a magazine, watching a TV program with an educational focus, writing a story , or learning about a topic that interests him/her.

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