Help with Homework

Mother helping son with homeworkThe amount of assistance your child requires with homework will be determined by his/her age and level of ability.

Elementary school students, as well as those with learning problems will require more of your time, assistance, and support than secondary students. Your assistance also depends on whether the homework assignments represent practicing a skill already mastered by your child or developing and mastering a new skill. The later will take more time and involvement on your part.

Most parents feel quite capable of providing assistance when the goal of homework is to practice previously learned information. For example, using flash cards and helping children develop a reading vocabulary represents such an activity. This procedure typically involves having your child write individual reading words on separate index cards. New words are added as your child masters the existing set.

In contrast, many parents feel less capable assisting their child when new skills or problem solving exercises have been assigned. When acquiring new information is the object of a homework lesson, it may be important for you to ask questions about the materials to summarize for your child any past strengths in that area and to ask your child as well as his or her teacher how you can best be of assistance.

It is also likely that you will feel more competent helping your child with certain types of homework tasks. For example, fathers often feel more comfortable helping with math and mothers with language arts. When both parents are available, we advise that both assist with homework. If the child has considerable difficulty with a subject area, tutors can be very helpful.

Authors: Dr. Sam Goldstein and Dr. Sydney Zentall

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  1. I know of these great flashcards for Algebra, an excellent resource for parents to help their child. please go to their website and check it out. it spells algebracards all in one word. I hope this helps so many like myself, who didn’t know how to get real help for my son who was struggling with Algebra. I tried tutors, staying after school or during lunch with his teacher, and after school institutions for math. nothing helped as much as the cards and the podcasts…it was like having a teacher sitting next to him! I would listen to the podcast with the cards before he was to do his HW, I was so intrigued by this system, I couldn’t wait for our time together. BTW, he earned an A- after many years of barely getting a C in Math:) Wishing all parents love and patience.

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