You want to be the best parent possible but when your kid comes to you stumped on a math equation, you start to panic. It’s been years since you’ve even touched a math textbook and you are finding yourself having trouble understanding the work as well. Instead of getting frustrated there are ways for you to help your kid with his homework even if you aren’t as all-knowing as you seem to be. Here are some things you can do when you and your kid are having trouble with his homework.
- Go over it together. You can learn together with your child. Read over the textbook together to understand the lesson so you can help him. In your time together, he may be able to figure out the solution himself and tell you how he came to it!
- Create a plan to help your kid progress. Does he take a long time to get his work done? Perhaps he’s struggling with reading. Instead of getting frustrated, create a plan to ensure a great working environment that will eliminate distraction and help your child to focus on his work. Ask his teachers what his weaknesses are and plan activities around them to help him grow. As he progress so does the plan.
- Stick to a schedule. The only way for you and your kid to get through homework time together is to stay with a schedule and be consistent. It doesn’t mean to have your kid immediately crack open his homework when he comes home but it does mean he should have some sort of routine he can get used to. Have him enjoy a snack afterschool and unwind for 30 minutes to clear his mind.
- Don’t reteach the lesson. If your child is stuck on a lesson, do not try to teach him the way you were taught. It just confuses him and makes the concept harder to grasp. Instead speak to his teacher about his troubles and ask for suggestions. His teacher may have afterschool hours where he can stay and relearn the lesson or she may give you helpful websites that can give him practice.
- Don’t give away the answers. You want your kid to understand and grasp the concepts he is being taught in school. This means having him figure things out for himself. When he does come to you for help, ask him how he came to the conclusion don’t just blur out whether or not he’s right or wrong. By talking it through, your kid may be able to figure it out for himself. Plus you don’t want to make it habit of your kid coming to you constantly when he’s stuck on his homework.
It’s a delicate balance working with your kid and his homework. That doesn’t mean you need to get frustrated if things aren’t going as smoothly as they should. Make a plan and through trial and error you both will find a process and routine that will ease your mind and help him learn and grow.