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Tips for Helping your Child with Homework

Homework is often challenging for students as they struggle to focus on the task at hand and tend to rush through their work. Although it’s common to struggle with homework throughout the year, some children struggle more than others. If your child is having a hard time with their homework, try to understand their challenges and develop strategies together to succeed. Here are some common challenges and strategies for children who struggle with homework.

  1. Time Management and Organization.

    • It’s very common for a child to run into problems with organizing their time to complete their homework and projects. 
    • It takes time for a child to develop proper time management skills, but there are many ways you can help out. 
    • When it comes to schoolwork, it’s essential to set a specific time and place strictly for studying
    • Once you’ve established a work environment for your child, take a moment to help them organize their homework.
    • Make a checklist with your child to show them how to plan accordingly and finish their homework on time. Crossing off a task on a checklist is very rewarding and a great way to track their progress.
    • Set a timer for each subject, with small breaks in between. Children often get antsy after sitting for long periods. 
    • For instance, set a timer for 20 minutes to work on math, then a 5-10 minute timer to stretch their legs and walk around. After a short break, return for another 20 minutes of language or science. 
    • It’s very common for children to leave projects to the night before it’s due. Show your child they can break the project into small tasks over the week to finish on time while ensuring the work is done properly. 
  2. Rushing.

    • Another common challenge children face is rushing through their homework to get it out of the way.
    • After a long day of school, your child may likely be tired and uninterested in doing more school work. 
    • The best way to approach this situation is by making the work a little more fun and exciting. For instance, if your child has math homework, try using household items like cotton balls to complete simple addition or subtraction problems. 
    • It’s important for children to understand that rushing through their homework often leads to silly and avoidable mistakes. If your child has already rushed through their work, review it with them to go over possible errors. 
  3.  Challenges with memory.

    • After hours of homework or studying, many children struggle to retain the information they have just learned. 
    • This issue can arise due to inattention while studying or challenges with their working memory.
    • Working memory is a function of the brain that allows us to hold on to information while working with it. Our brain is then able to connect new information to old information in our long-term memory storage. 
    • Therefore, the best way to remember a new fact is to connect it to something you already know.
    • If your child struggles with inattention, they are likely unable to tune out unimportant things happening in their surrounding environment. 
    • Distracting sounds or visual cues cause working memory to let go of the task at hand and replace it with the new information coming in. 
    • Make sure your child studies in a space with minimal noise and distractions. This will ensure their working memory holds onto new information long enough to store it into long-term memory. 
    • Take advantage of your child’s learning style. 
    • If your child is a visual learner, try drawing pictures and using words and arrows to create visual connections. 
    • If your child is an auditory learner, make sure the room they study in is quiet. Use mnemonics or rhymes to memorize information with ease. 
    • Finally, ask your child to teach you the content they’ve just learned. This helps them consolidate new information while allowing you to keep tabs on their progress. 
  4. Struggling to take notes.

    • Taking notes can be very challenging, especially for young children.
    • There are several note-taking strategies that children can use to keep track of their studies. 
    • When reading information from a textbook, have your child answer the following questions: Who? What? Why? Where? When? And how? 
    • Help your child find the main idea of the text and have them write it down. Make sure they highlight or separate key information from the additional details they’ve pulled from the text. 
    • If your child struggles with handwriting, have them use a keyboard instead. However, make sure they practice handwriting often since keyboards may not always be an available alternative. 
    • Once the notes are complete, have your child review them to help consolidate the information from the text.
    • It’s important for children to develop note-taking skills early on, as they will benefit them as their education continues. 
  5. Working independently.

  • Children shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when they need it. However, they also need to develop skills that allow them to learn independently. 
  • For instance, rather than asking you the definition of a word, have your child look in a dictionary for the answer first. If they still don’t understand, define the word for them and connect it to other similar words to remember for next time.
  • Encourage your child to walk themselves through their homework. Developing habits such as self-talking will help your child stay on task and be aware of the work they’re doing. 
  • As your child begins to overcome their challenges with school work, their confidence will grow, and homework won’t be such a daunting task. 

Completing homework with ease doesn’t happen overnight. It is a skill like any other that requires practice and patience. The strategies above will help your child develop the necessary skills to complete their homework independently. If your child continues to struggle with homework, consider communicating with their teacher or reach out to a tutor for additional after-school help. Here at Success Tutorial School, we offer several programs for children and teens designed to help them succeed in school. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your child develop the skills they need to overcome their challenges with homework.

July 23, 2021
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