Homework Help: Easy and Effective Advice


Homework: some parents and educators are huge proponents of it—others, not so much. The pros and cons of homework have long been debated; however, its role in your child’s education can be very influential. If homework is a reality at your child’s school, I am sure that you have dealt with the tears, tantrums, and stressors related to the sometimes daunting task. So, how can we manage to make homework less intimidating and more effective? Below are some problem-solving strategies for your child’s homework woes.

Insist that your child keep an agenda, homework calendar, or planner. Whatever you choose to call it, it is the first line of defense against homework stress. Schools typically issue a planner to each student at the start of the school year, but if this is not the case at your child’s school, be sure to purchase one. Writing down homework during class is an imperative step for ensuring that homework is completed or attempted. Not only will writing it down help with memory of the assignment, but it also ensures that you as a parent will know what the assignment is, when it was issued, and when it is due.

On a similar note, be sure that you encourage your child to write down the full details of the assignment. Often in a hurry, students jot down a vague idea of the homework with little detail. This is not much help when homework time begins. Instruct your child to write down the homework as specifically as possible, i.e., the page number, website, number of questions, or chapters to read.

Stress the importance of effort. We have all experienced those ugly moments when frustration takes over. I (not-so-fondly) remember shedding plenty of tears at the kitchen counter over factor trees…and geometry…and algebra…and precalculus homework. Needless to say, math caused a lot of stress in my household growing up. Many families can relate to this struggle. That said, remember to express the importance of simply attempting a complicated assignment. Completion for the sake of credit is not always worth the hours of frustration. Instead, when homework hits the fan, send a quick email to your child’s teacher explaining the effort that your child put into the assignment. Homework is, after all, about the practice of the skills taught at school.

Stay organized with homework assignments. This means not only helping your child organize and keep track of different tasks for their many subject areas, but helping her to organize her time for lengthy or multi-step projects. When more complex or involved assignments come home, create a realistic schedule or timeline for completion. This will help your child begin to build time management skills and help avoid the weekend meltdown. When large assignments are pushed off, the procrastination creates unnecessary stress, which can make the assignment nearly unmanageable. Avoid this by modeling your own time management strategies—show your child different methods of completing lengthy tasks in a timely, organized fashion.