5 Tips to Help Your Kids with Homework

If your child is struggling with homework, a lot of things might come to mind. Some parents worry that their children may not be trying hard enough; while others may blame the school or the education system as a whole. Many parents will also blame themselves or even feel inadequate to help. Whatever emotions you’re going through, know that you’re not alone in the journey to healthy homework habits. Helping your child succeed is not a one-man-show, but when it feels like it is we’ve put together 5 tips from our education experts:

  1. Don’t get angry – try to get to the root of the problem! When you notice that your children are struggling in school and completing their assignments, remember to stay calm. It may be natural to assume it was your fault, the school’s fault, or even your child’s fault. It isn’t any one person’s fault. Your child may be struggling with something deeper than homework. They may be having trouble understanding a particular concept. They may have missed a lesson – or may even need another learning strategy applied to the concept. Whenever a problem surfaces, some people may want to jump in and solve it right away. When it comes to your child’s education it’s always best to understand the whole picture. This article helps delve into a few strategies to have a productive conversation with your child’s school and teacher: Homework Help from the Ministry of Education
  2. Analyze what is done at home and understand your child’s homework routine. Once you start to understand the bigger picture, start with breaking down how to improve your routine at home. These are some great questions to help you start to break down where some fixes can be put in place:
    1. What is the homework routine?
    2. What happens when your child is stuck?
    3. How often do you practice at home?
    4. What’s your child’s learning style?
    5. What topics may help engage your child with a concept? What catches their interest?
    6. We love this article when it comes to ramping up learning at home: Helping Find that Homework Routine.
  3. If you don’t know how to help – that’s okay! But…get help! We hear so many stories about parents helping their kids with homework that doesn’t always end well. It often ends with, “Do YOU remember your high school Trig, because I don’t!” That’s okay – everyone struggles with a particular concept or subject. Maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve practiced the skill, or maybe it didn’t interest you when you were in school. What matters most is that your children understand and feel confident in their own ability to do the work. Here are a few ways to get help when you can’t:
    1. Find a local tutor or enroll in an after-school tutoring program
    2. Find help from an online tutor
    3. Try an online supplementary education tool, like STEM Village, that helps you track the progress of your child in a particular skill so you and your child can work together on improving it.
    4. Our experts love this article from Parenting.com
  4. Let the struggle happen! It may seem a bit odd to say this because we don’t want our kids to struggle – but struggling is also a great opportunity to learn! When your child makes mistakes, their are consequences. More often than not, our children are great when it comes to learning from their mistakes. Struggling often creates an internal dialogue where students may dive into understanding what they need in order to succeed. If your child doesn’t know what they need help with, how will they ask? Check out this article from Empowering Parents for some more insight into this concept.
  5. Don’t be afraid of a longer journey, not everything is a quick fix! You may not find the right solution right away. It’s rare that the first strategy you choose will be the one that solves the underlying issue. More often than not, more issues will surface as time goes on. Think of this as the first step to a working prototype that will help you understand what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to get a discussion going and learn from others in your community.

If you want to get your kids or students engaged with STEM education in a fun and effective way, please visit STEM Village to learn more and start a free trial today.

Our children deserve the power of knowledge and the confidence to learn. Join the conversation with STEM Village on Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to leave your own tip in the comments – we love to hear from you!
This article was written by Erin Carmody, an experienced educator, consultant, and Content Manager at STEM Village.

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