parents helping with homework

10 Ways to Help Your Kids With Their Homework

All parents homeschool. And, in fact, even if parents send their children off to school to learn, they are almost singlehandedly the only factor that matters in their kids’ educational success. Paul E. Barton of the Educational Testing Service (which administers the GRE among other standardized tests) wrote a study called “America’s Smallest School: The Family.”

He has estimated that about 90% of the difference in schools’ proficiencies can be explained by a handful of factors including the number of days students are absent from school, the number of hours students spend watching television, the number of pages read for homework, and the quantity and quality of reading material in the students’ homes. So the best schools are really those where there are parents helping with homework. Here are 10 ways to help your kids with their homework.

1. Set the time.

Structure is always important. Designate a specific time frame for homework to be completed. Creating a regular routine will increase productivity.

2. Get involved.

It is important to be active in your kid’s education. Most schools offer online services to check on grades, homework assignments, and overall progress. Keep yourself up to date on all of these things.

3. Help create a homework space.

Provide a quiet and well-lit location. Make sure there is a spacious work area and all necessary items to complete the assignments. Preparation is half the battle.

4. Limit distractions.

Our homes are filled with distractions—televisions, cell phones, and video games, just to name a few. The use of these items should not be allowed during homework time. The mind should be focused on the task at hand.

5. Organize.

Multiple subjects and classes can create confusion. Provide a planner and instruct your child how to organize and prioritize assignments. Create a solid game plan.

6. Be a cheerleader.

Always show support and give encouragement. Reward strong effort as well as results. We want our children to always give their best.

7. Provide guidance.

We all get stumped sometimes. Make sure helpful resources are available when needed. These might include yourself, school-provided telephone services, or school-approved online assistance. A child should always be able to ask a question and get an answer.

8. Work first.

Just like their parents, children have busy lives these days. Homework should always come before sports and social activities. Make sure education is a number one priority.

9. Teach note-taking.

Make sure your child develops an excellent note-taking system. Experts believe an outline form of note-taking is the most efficient method. However, all children are different, so just make sure they have a system that works for them. Handwritten notes, as opposed to typing, tend to lead to better memory of the information.

Help instill strong study habits and work ethic in your children.

10. Develop study habits.

Help instill strong study habits and work ethic in your children. Tests and projects require plenty of planning. Provide tips and techniques that will bring the top-notch results that are desired.

Sound off: How much do you think parents helping with homework effects whether students are successful?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How can I help you with your schoolwork?”