Homework is going to be a constant in your children’s life from their early days of school to the day they graduate from college or university.
As a parent, providing the right homework help means helping children develop healthy habits from a young age that will successfully carry them through to the end of their education and beyond.
Below are 7 habits that should be introduced to your children’s homework routine from a young age:
Start a routine early
Even if your child comes home from his first day of kindergarten with nothing more to do than draw a picture of his family, you should still enforce a time for which this task should be completed. Set a time that works with your family’s schedule and stick to it.
Designate a regular homework place
Decide, as a family, which area of your home should act as a homework place. Keep in mind that the area should be quiet and free from traffic and distractions (like TV, video games, etc.). Also be sure the space has good lighting and provides easy access to the main areas of the house should your child require homework help from you or an older sibling.
Provide adequate resources and supplies
Cut down on time looking for the right supplies or resources by having them readily available. Having everything your child needs right in front of her also cuts down on any excuses for not completing the homework.
Sleep plays an important role
Children from the age of three to 12 require an average of 10 – 12 hours of sleep a night. This means, if your child’s day starts at 7 a.m., he should be in bed no later than 9 p.m. Children need to recharge their “batteries” to wake up fresh and ready to take on the day. It is therefore important to set a schedule that will allow them to finish any homework assignments and get to bed at a reasonable time.
Develop healthy eating habits
This tip goes hand in hand with sleep. In order to focus and improve performance, your children need a healthy, balanced diet. If your children eat sugary foods throughout the day, for example, they will most likely come home and want to “crash” rather than have the energy to complete after-school assignments.
Let your child do the homework
As a parent, you may feel compelled to provide the type of homework help that includes you completing the assignment! Of course you want your children to succeed and do well in school, but part of succeeding means learning through trial and error. If you find your child consistently gets the answer wrong on a math question, instead of doing the question for him or her, sit down and work it out together step by step. In this way, your child will learn where they were going wrong and how to solve the problem correctly.
It can be difficult for kids to transition from play to work. Communicate with your child by letting him know you believe in him and know he can complete the project. In other words, be positive with your child, especially with tasks that may be difficult such as science or math projects.