The Times West Virginian

Family Times

September 3, 2012

Parents should take interest in kids’ homework

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 to 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.)

For more information, visit http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/learning/homework.html.

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