Helping your children is one of the best ways to encourage a positive learning experience for them. However, many parents find it difficult to find the balance between giving their children the support they need, and outright giving them the answers to the question.
So, here are some tips on how to help your child with their homework, without giving them all the answers.
1. Always give encouragement and praise to your child.
Being a positive role model for your child will help them approach homework and learning very differently. When you actively are there to support them and guide them, something boring for them such as doing homework becomes fun and engaging. Just your presence, engagement and support alone creates a positive learning environment.
In fact, a recent study by Monash University shows how powerful praise and encouragement is when it comes to helping kids with their homework. The study shows that many refugee Afghani mothers in Australia were unsure of how to help their children with school. This was because they were unable to speak or write English.
However, regardless of the language barrier, the mothers committed to sitting next to their children as they completed their homework. The mothers might not have understood the language, but they engaged with their children, asking them what the question means, encouraging them, and discussing the language.
Through this method, the parents still played a strong supporting role in their children’s learning and homework without even understanding the content. They helped their children become more actively engaged in their learning.
2. Teach your child how to create and organize plans.
Sometimes, your child might have more homework than they can handle. It is quite common for a child to become incredibly frustrated with their homework and end up in a sour mood. During times like these, many parents will fight force with force and enforce their authority over their children. This is not ideal as it makes your children dislike homework even more, and take it out on you.
Instead, you could use moments like these as a teaching opportunity. Do not fight with them or force them to do anything, but rather sit down together, talk about why they are frustrated and create a plan on the best ways to solve it together.
For example, you could slowly go through the homework task together. Ask your child to write down what are the tasks and hand at what are the challenges faced. Then when it is identified, break down the tasks that are giving them difficulties into smaller and easier to do mini tasks. From then on, discuss how long they will need in order to complete each mini task. When that is identified, create a timeline of completion in conjunction to the deadline of their work.
When the timelines and plans are all charted out, put that homework plan somewhere where your child can always see it. Sometimes, you can even print multiple copies and paste it throughout the house.
From there, encourage your child to mark the completed tasks as they go along, so both of you can see the progress made on the task. A visual reminder and a planner that both of you are involved in can greatly help encourage your child with their homework, and is also a valuable lesson for them when it comes to future planning and discipline.
3. Model learning behavior
A very common teaching strategy is for teachers to model what they would like their students to do. For example, if a child has a problem that they are unable or unsure how to solve, the teachers will sit down and model how they would personally do it. Sometimes the teachers would solve a single answer for the student and explain what their thought process was when solving this question. Then for the subsequent questions, the student will do it on their own and think along the lines of the teacher’s thought process.
You can do this too when you are helping your children with their homework. For example, if they are having problems with a particular algebraic equation, you could do one of the questions and write out your formula, explaining why and how. Then after that, let them complete the other questions while monitoring their answers. You could also take it a step further and ask them how they have come to their answers to see if it is the correct way. Through model learning behavior, children are able to “follow the footsteps” of your thought process and speed up their learning.
Presence is the most powerful encouragement
Just being there for them and engaging with them while they are working is one of the most powerful ways to help your children with their homework without giving them all the answers. Guide them indirectly and teach them planning and thinking skills, this will help them tremendously now and in the future.
If homework time causes stress for the whole family, a School is Easy tutor may be able to help! Contact your closest location about opportunities available near you.