If your child has a hard time doing their homework and you feel like you are constantly fighting with them to get them to sit still and concentrate, then here are some useful homework tactics for parents and tutors that will make your child’s homework time more pleasant and productive.
1. Schedule Homework Time and Tutoring Sessions
Your child might put up a fight any time you ask them to do their homework, but in most cases children actually do want and need some structure and guidelines for their schedule in order to be productive. Just like adults need to keep a schedule in order to be productive, children benefit from knowing exactly what needs to get done and when it needs to be completed. Enforcing a scheduled homework time for your child might seem harsh, but it will actually show your child that you care about them and they will appreciate that, even if they don’t show it.
2. Positive Reinforcement and Rewards
All children need some motivation. You and your child may decide that if they complete their homework for five days in a row they will receive a reward, like their favorite dinner or dessert. Sticker charts are an excellent way to keep a record of your child’s progress. Make the chart visible so that your child can be reminded of what is required of them and how they are doing in terms of completing their goal. During tutoring sessions this same method can be used by your tutor so you are all working toward the same goal.
3. Parents and Tutors Setting a Good Example of Learning
You can be a positive example to your child by learning new things yourself. The best way human beings learn is by observing and mimicking behaviors. If your child sees that you are learning new things (such as reading educational books or learning a new language), they will realize you are not forcing them to do something you are not willing to do yourself. Talk to your child about something that you learned that day and ask your tutor to spend time during tutoring sessions to talk with your child about things that they are learning and what helped them in the learning process.
4. Homework is for Students NOT Parents or Tutors!
Don’t do your child’s work for them and don’t let your child’s tutor do it for them either. When it comes time to doing homework, parents need to realize that helping too much and doing your child’s homework for them really isn’t helping them learn the subject matter. The teacher sends work home with the students so that they can find out how the students are doing, how much they have already learned, and what they need more help with. What you can do is to help your child focus, sit with them and explain the assignment to them, but don’t do the work for them.
5. Proper Learning Environment for Homework Time and Tutoring Sessions
This last tactic is so basic that it may be overlooked by most parents. All children need to have a proper workspace to do their homework. This space will differ based on the child, but could be at their personal desk in their bedroom, at the kitchen table, or a table in a quiet room free from distractions. This same principle can be applied to a space for tutoring sessions by making sure the tutoring session occurs in an environment that is conducive to your child’s learning.
All of these tips can be geared toward your individual child. If you have more than one child- you may need to adapt these tactics in ways to meet each of your child’s different needs. Ultimately, regardless of your child’s style of learning, personality, and interests your role as parents is to support them to be independent learners.