en españolLos diez mejores consejos sobre los deberes escolares
Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.
Of course, helping with homework shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!
Here are some tips to guide the way:
- Know the teachers — and what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's teachers. Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.
- Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
- Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
- Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there's an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
- Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)
- Make sure kids do their own work. They won't learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it's a kid's job to do the learning.
- Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.
- Set a good example. Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Kids are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.
- Praise their work and efforts. Post an aced test or art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.
- If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about it with your child's teacher. Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others might need an evaluation for a learning problem or attention disorder.
Set a timeframe for doing homework. Decide how much time you have available for homework after school for each day of the week. For example, Monday - 1 hour, Tuesday - 1 1/2 hours, Wednesday - 1/2 hour, etc. On days where you have other planned activities, whether it's an extracurricular activity or chores or quality time with your family, you will have less time for homework.
Consider using your mornings. At the end of the day, if you're really tired and still have homework, go to bed and set your alarm perhaps an hour or two earlier than what you usually do. This way when you do your homework you will have more energy and be able to complete it faster. You also won't have to worry about it after school, when you are tired.
Take advantage of your travel time. If you don't get motion sick in the car or on public transportation, try to do some of your homework on your way to a basketball game or on your way home from school. But be careful, as your writing may be messy and unreadable.
Use your study halls or homeroom times well. Don't be fooling around with your friends and then come home annoyed that you have a lot of homework. This will make you more grumpy and you will probably get told off by your teachers as well. Don't let your friends distract you.
Use free periods. If you have a free period, don't use it to hang out with your friends at a local pizza place, use it to catch up on your homework. You will have time to hang out with your friends after school or on a weekend, make homework your first priority.
Make Fridays count. Unless you have plans on Friday after school, try to do all your homework for the weekend then. It will be easier to enjoy the weekend without having to worry about your homework. What a lot of people do is not do their homework on Friday, and wait until Sunday night to do it so you have all weekend (including Friday) to do whatever. This may sound like a good idea now, but while you are going out to a party or whatever on Saturday night, all you will be able to think about is having to do your homework the next night. Then on Sunday, you will be tired and won't have a good attitude to do your homework.