Helping Your Child with Homework

Helping Your Child with Homework

Research shows clearly that children are more likely to succeed in learning when their families actively support them. When family members read with their children, talk with their teachers, participate in school or other learning activities and help them with homework, they give children a tremendous advantage.

At the heart of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a promise to raise standards for all children and to help all children meet those standards.

In support of this goal, President George W. Bush is committed to promoting the very best teaching programs. Well-trained teachers and instruction that is based on research, can bring the best teaching approaches and programs to all children and help to ensure that “no child is left behind.”

However, the hours in a school day are few and the time a teacher can spend with any one child is limited. Teachers need the understanding and help of families in supporting classroom instruction.

One important way that families can lend this support is by taking an interest in the homework that their children bring home and by finding the most effective ways to help their children with that homework.

Homework has been part of students’ lives since the beginning of formal schooling in the United States. It is important because it can improve children’s thinking and memory. It can help them to develop positive study skills and habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. It can encourage them to use time well, to learn independently and to take responsibility for their work.

But helping children with their homework benefits families as well. It can, for example, be a way for families to learn more about what their children are learning in school and an opportunity for them to communicate both with their children and with teachers and principals.

Your interest in your children’s education can spark their enthusiasm and lead them to understand that learning can be rewarding and is well worth the effort. We hope that you and your child find this booklet helpful.

Homework: A Concern for the Whole Family

Homework is an opportunity for children to learn and for families to be involved in their children’s education. However, helping children with homework isn’t always easy. At parent-teacher meetings and in conferences with parents, teachers often hear questions such as:

ß How can I get Michael to do his homework? Every night it’s a struggle to get him to turn off the TV and do his homework.

ß Why isn’t Maria getting more homework?

ß Why is Jonathan getting so much homework?

ß When is Suki supposed to do homework? She takes piano lessons, sings in her church choir, plays basketball and helps with family chores. There’s hardly any time left to study.

ß How can I help Robert with his math homework when I don’t understand it?

ß Do homework assignments really help my child learn?

This booklet helps answer these and other questions that parents, family members and others who care for children in elementary and middle school often ask about homework. The booklet also includes practical ideas for helping children to complete homework assignments successfully.

The Basics

Before discussing ways that you can help your child with homework, it is important to discuss why teachers assign homework and how it benefits your child.

Why Do Teachers Assign Homework?

Teachers assign homework for many reasons. Homework can help their students.

ß review and practice what they’ve covered in class.

ß get ready for the next day’s class.

ß learn to use resources, such as libraries, reference materials and computer Web sites to find information about a subject.

ß explore subjects more fully than classroom time permits.

ß extend learning by applying skills they already have to new situations; and

ß integrate their learning by applying many different skills to a single task, such as book reports or science projects.

Homework also can help students to develop good study habits and positive attitudes. It can…

ß teach them to work independently; and

ß encourage self-discipline and responsibility (assignments provide some children with their first chance to manage time and to meet deadlines).

In addition, homework can help create greater understanding between families and teachers and provide opportunities for increased communication. Monitoring homework keeps families informed about what their children are learning and about the policies and programs of the teacher and the school.



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Regards, Coyalita

Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist & Addiction Counselor

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