Homework Tips for Parents/Guardians (@sguditus Steve Guditus)

What can you do to help your child succeed with homework assignments?  Short of advocating for limiting homework assignments outside of school (and referencing relevant recent research on the topic), read on for several tips to help facilitate the homework-completion process at home with your middle school child.

  • Prioritize homework assignments.  Based on difficulty levels and due dates, create a numbered to-do list each afternoon/evening to help your child efficiently complete their homework.  Encouraging students to start with the most challenging assignment when he/she is fresh may work best for him/her.   
  • Encourage your child to advocate for him/herself.  If an assignment is confusing to your child, he/she needs clarification, or additional support from his/her teacher, create a game plan with your child.  Brainstorm with them to whom he/she should speak and about what, including specific questions to get the help they need.  These are life skills!
  • Utilize a calendar or a student agenda.  Especially for long-term assignments, it is helpful for students to use the calendar in their agenda to plan backwards from due dates of assessments and projects.  It will be helpful to your child if you can help break the project or studying into pieces with mini deadlines.  Try color-coding for various classes; this will help students better chart out and track their after-school time. 
  • Have a consistent work time and space.  Everyone deserves some down time, especially after a long day at school!  Allow your child some time to relax and unwind, encourage them to stay hydrated, and have a consistent start time and public location for homework (e.g. the kitchen table, not the bedroom with the door closed).  
  •  Stay positive.  Homework can be difficult, but modeling a positive attitude, especially when work gets difficult will help teach your child develop problem-solving and self-advocacy skills.  Encourage and support your child by providing guidance as to how to solve a problem, seek help and ask good questions.  
  • Take a break.  If your child has been working for a good chunk of time, keep an eye open for frustration.  It is ok to take a break!


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