Homework: Help your child develop key homework skills
Explore suggestions to encourage the development of critical homework skills including organization, time management and basic study strategies
September 20, 2012 - Author: Holly B. Tiret, Michigan State University Extension
Ask your child about homework and chances are you will get one of three responses: “I don’t have any homework.” “I have way too much homework!” “I hate homework!” However, it is more likely that your child is lacking some critical homework skills. As a parent, there are many things you can do to help your child handle homework headaches and help them develop good homework habits.
One key skill your child needs to develop is organization. It is easier to get started on homework when the basics are there, such as having a homework site, creating a filing system or using other visual organizers like a planner. Another key skill is developing time management. Children need a consistent time to study to help reduce or eliminate distractions. They need proper sleep, adequate breaks and an ability to predict the length of bigger projects or assignments. In addition, children need to have good study strategy skills. It helps if they know a variety of strategies such as rewriting, drawing, memorizing aloud and using flash cards.
Help your child develop a daily homework checklist:
- Copy homework assignments with teacher’s instructions
- Bring home any necessary materials
- Start homework at the set time
- Make an effort to do the homework well
- Place homework by the door ready to take back to school
Other ways to help your children improve their homework skills include spending time together. While your child is studying you can sit with them and read, study something new or catch up on local news, that way you can be available to help your child if needed. It may helpful to meet with your child at the beginning of the semesters to help them break down large assignments into manageable tasks. Be sure to monitor their progress. Work together with your child to manage interruptions, phone calls or friends who might stop by.
Talk with your child to get input on how to handle homework habits. Ask them what time of day is easiest for them to study. Find out what homework they find the most interesting and what is the most challenging for them. Discuss your family values about school, homework and education.
Helping your child develop the key homework skills of organization, time management and basic study strategies will translate into school success and life-long learning skills. By being open and getting your child’s input you are setting up a more cooperative family atmosphere.