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Saturday, August 2, 2008

How to help your child with 'Home Work'- Tips for parents

Parent's involvement in child education can bring positive results in child's grades. And starting point to guide or taking interest is to look how you can help your child in 'home work'. These few tips would help you guide your child in home work, letting him/her get ready for future success at school and in life. It is a fact that 'family involvement is crucial if we want our children to succeed in education and throughout life'.

Tips for Parents

Homework is the ideal opportunity for students to learn and for parents to become involved closer in their child’s education. A parent’s interest can spark enthusiasm in a child and teach one of the most important lessons of all – that learning can be fun, is important and is well worth the effort.

Children do need to know that their parents think homework is important. If they know their parents care, children have a good reason to complete their homework and hand them in on time. It is important that parents show they value education and this can be done in a number of ways.

* Set a Regular Time
Finding a regular time for your child to complete their homework is very important. The best schedule is the one that works for your child and your family. What works well in one home may not apply in another – every home and child is different. It may well be that your child works well immediately on returning home from school or alternatively; it may be that your child needs to play for an hour and then complete their homework assignment.

aOutside activities, such as sports or music lessons may mean that you need to adopt a flexible schedule throughout the week. If there is not enough time for your child to finish his/ her homework then you will need to discuss dropping some after school activities. You must show your child that homework is a priority.

* Pick a Study Place
Ideally, a dedicated homework area is the best way for your child to focus. However this may not always be possible. It is more important that the study area has the right components;

- good light

- study supplies at hand

- be fairly quiet

* Remove any Distractions
A study area should not be next to a television set (obvious we know). Mobile phones should be switched off and social calls banned during homework.

However a phone call to a friend regarding homework will be beneficial.

Some children do work well with soft background music (not a blaring stereo barking out the latest hits).

* Provide Supplies and Identify Resources
A good starting point for this is all the obvious supplies that your child will need to complete his/ her homework – pencils, pens, paper, glue, stapler, scissors etc..

Although please be aware that there may be specific assignments where other supplies are required.

For information resources, break them down into the different types:

- books, available at home, school or the library?

- Internet – available at home, school, or the library?

- A phone call to the local library is very much worthwhile – they may have a dedicated homework area and have computers that can be used by pupils.

It is also worth speaking to the school about any ground rules they may have regarding Internet access to students.

* Set a Good Example
Children will be more responsive to homework and studying if they see their parents undertaking tasks that require effort, reading and writing. Talk with your child about what you are doing even if is something relatively minor and simple. Encourage activities that have an educational application – for example going to the zoo, watching educational programmes on TV, museums etc and so on.

* Show an Interest
Discuss your child’s education at the dinner table, what did they do at school today? Did they have a lot of homework? Was it hard/ easy?

These are all relatively simple points but they do instil a sense of support and interest.

Always attend parent- teacher nights to discuss your child’s work and it is a great support if you are able to attend school fairs, sports day etc…

Other Ways in Which Parents Can Help
Here are just some other points that will help in your child’s education and particularly their homework assignments:

1. Ask about the School Homework Policy (Be aware what the school expects from homework.)

2. Be available: Be available to your child should they have any questions regarding their homework assignment.

3. Look over completed homework: Read the homework assignments before and after the teacher has seen them.

4. Monitor Television Viewing: If the figures are added up children spend more time watching TV than doing homework. It is no surprise that if they are watching TV then they are not studying.

5. Study your Child’s Study Habits
See what works best to get the best out of your child.

6. Help your Child Get Organised
Help them organise a schedule and homework area.

7. Encourage Good Study Habits
Show your child how to break down tasks, understand them and what they are supposed to achieve.

8. Discuss Assignments
Talk about the homework that has been given.

9. Give Praise
Praise your child when they get good marks and work well. Everyone responds to praise - it is a great motivational tool.

10. Share any concerns with the School
Go and talk to the teacher in question about any concerns you may have. It is a good idea to speak to the teacher involved before going to the head teacher.

11. Work with the School: If there are problems with homework then work with the school for a solution.

12. Share Feedback to the School:Communication with your child’s school is only a good thing.

Source: - The Education & Entertainment Network

Useful links and resources where you can get home work help on the net:

* Homework Help on the Web
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