The Times West Virginian

September 3, 2012

Parents should take interest in kids’ homework


Times West Virginian

— 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.