Helping With Homework: 6 Top Tips For Parents

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homework
Lauren Beene, MD

After blissful years of not having to think about homework, suddenly your child is in school and bringing home piles of it every night. No matter what grade level, the H-word can bring shudders – and challenges for parents.

With these six homework-helping tips from Lauren Beene, MD, a pediatrician with UH Rainbow Suburban Pediatrics, you can learn how to support and encourage your children, while also giving them the needed space to complete homework on their own.

1. Ask about it

When your child gets home from school, ask what the day’s homework is and when it’s due. If your child has difficulty remembering assignments, consider using a checklist or notebook to help them keep track of what needs to get done and when.  

2. Create a homework space

Let your child choose a space where they feel most comfortable doing homework. It might be at the kitchen counter or a bedroom desk. Just be sure it’s in an area that’s quiet and has minimal distractions so your child can focus. Stock the space with study supplies so they don’t have to hunt for them.

3. Help, but don’t do it

Here’s a little secret: It’s OK if you don’t know how to do your child’s homework. That’s not your job! Instead, think about your role in helping your child figure it out on their own. 

For example, you can ask your child to work through a problem out loud or explain their thought process. In doing so, your child may end up answering the question on their own. Taking this approach is much more effective than swooping in with the correct answer or saying that you don’t know how to do it.

4. Make time for homework

Be sure to factor homework into your child’s daily schedule. Remember to consider needed homework time when helping them make decisions about participating in after-school activities.

5. Partner with your child’s teacher

Stay up to speed on what’s going on in the classroom. If the teacher has specific instructions for homework, be sure you and your child follow them.

6. Minimize distractions

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends establishing a “No TV during homework time” rule. Your child may need to use the computer for assignments, but try to keep all other devices off until homework is completed.

Related Links

We can’t help with algebra, but our physicians can answer questions you have about your child’s health. Submit a question or browse FAQs at UHRainbow.org/AskRainbow

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