Parents often assist children by sitting down to help with homework, sometimes checking for mistakes, and occasionally completing entire projects.
Some research shows that helping with homework can be beneficial for children’s performance at school. However, other studies show different results about helping children with homework.
The Quirky Kid clinic suggests that the difference between parental involvement being beneficial or not is dependent on the type and the amount of involvement.
By constantly cutting in on the job your kids are doing, you may risk undermining their confidence. This may make them feel inadequate when it comes to completing tasks on time or may inhibit them from developing the knowledge and skills to do it themselves.
Tips to assist your children with homework.
- It is best to establish a routine for homework at the beginning of the year. Decide with your child when and where homework should be completed. Creating a homework schedule together is a great way to discuss this, and put down in writing what you agree on.
- You can make homework something children will look forward to by making it special one-on-one time with you. But remember to let children keep most control of it – make sure the pencil is in their hand, not yours.
- To help children focus at homework time, set some boundaries, ensure they have a clear work space, and establish some goals, such as a time limit. Additionally, by placing a clock near their work space children will be able to monitor their own time.
- Provide your children some wind down time after school. Allowing them to play for a while and have a healthy snack, will help them to concentrate when they start their homework.
- Many schools have implemented a homework policy. If you think your child is receiving too much homework, or it is too difficult, get in contact with the school to discuss your concerns.
Most importantly, by allowing children to complete homework themselves, they will have greater sense of achievement. Additionally, providing parents with a legitimate reason to pile on the praise. Remember to always praise effort rather than intelligence.
Need more help?
- The Quirky Kid Clinic provides private consultations and a range of resources to assist with homework challenges and performance. Please contact us to make an appointment or visit our resources page.
- You should also check a great book for sale at the Quirky Kid online Shoppe – How to do your Homework without throwing up – check it out.
Information for this fact sheet was taken from an interview with Child Psychologist Kimberley O’Brien, and the following article.
Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Battiato, A.C., Walker, J.M., Reed, R.P., DeJong, J.M., and Jones, K.P. (2001) Parental Involvement in homework. Educational Psychologist, 36, 3, 195-209