According to The National Science Foundation, 32%-40% of parents help their kids with homework three or more days a week. Working on your children’s assignments has been a component of parent involvement for years. Family dynamics, including working parents, may limit time to do homework together. However, many parents do take the time to get involved after school. Assisting your children with their schoolwork also strengthens family ties.
First, some statistics on parent involvement with homework:
In 2014, The National Center for Families Learning showed that 60% of parents struggle to help their kids with homework. Primary obstacles include time constraints, unfamiliarity with the subject, and children not wanting help. Other interesting facts show fathers help kids with schoolwork more than mothers. Parents help most with English and Math. Approximately 90% of parents feel that helping their kids with homework contributes to their child’s academic success. Nearly 16% of parents complete all their children’s assignments for them, and 2% never help at all. One last interesting fact, younger parents (18-24) pay less attention to their kid’s homework than older parents (25-44).
Now that you have some facts and statistics, here are some tips on how to help your kids with homework.
- Set a Routine Time: Parents.com recommends three optimal times for children to do homework. Kids can work right when they get home from school or before or after dinner. Keeping daily routines sets expectations and becomes part of your children’s schedule. You can decide which time works best because, after school, your kid may need to unwind. Eating a meal may give them energy, and they can do their work after dinner. Another scenario can be doing the homework before dinner so they can relax the rest of the night.
- Choose a Place to Do Homework: Many children do homework at the kitchen table, a hub in most homes. Parents can cook dinner and help kids with schoolwork by being nearby. Any other quiet room with a desk works best for homework, and parents can follow up.
- Eliminate Distractions: As mentioned above, having a quiet space creates the ideal environment for children to do their homework. Get rid of all the possible distractions, like turning off the TV and electronic devices. Children will be able to concentrate better in a setting with no disruptions.
- Set Up a Plan for the Homework: Find out what homework your child has and lay out the assignments and materials you both need. For nights with a lot of schoolwork, make a plan on how to approach all of it. Then work on the homework with them so it does not take up the entire night.
- Make the Process Exciting: After a long day, homework can be a drag for kids and parents. Approach the assignments with energy and set an example by being interested in the learning. Kids may enjoy doing homework if you make it exciting and fun.
To keep your kids on a routine when they have no homework, Before and After School Activities has plenty of resources. Author Denise Theobald offers creative activities with various time frames since schedules vary. This guide helps limit electronic devices and keep kids active and engaged on things other than homework. You can take a break with some free downloadable activities for the winter holidays.