School year is coming and once school begins children ages 5 or 6 and up have homework. Some children complete their homework without any adult help while other children need lots of support.
Homework is important because it helps children practice and strengthen academic skills, teaches time management, initiative, self-reliance, and resourcefulness. Homework also teaches children responsibility, the sense of accountability for mistakes and successes, and a respect for authority outside the home.
Support, encouragement, patience and guidance are basic in helping children with their homework. Not every type of help will work with each child. Here are a few ideas:
- Agree on a quiet place to do homework.
- Check with Host Parents if the television, music or computer can be on while the child is doing homework.
- Agree on a reasonable homework schedule. Should homework be done after school or after dinner or after a short break before dinner?
- Should home privileges be taken away form a child that doesn’t complete homework or puts it off?
- Can the child use the computer, talk on the phone or get together with friends before homework is done?
- Try to determine how long the child can keep concentrating on work. It may be best to build breaks into the homework schedule.
- Avoid getting into a power struggle over homework.
- Ask your host parents for ideas if you are having a problem.
- Helping with homework can be frustrating for everyone involved. Do not get angry, try to remain patient.
- Let your host parents know if you think the amount of homework is overwhelming the child.
- Never do the homework for the child.
- Be enthusiastic and positive when the child makes a good effort.
Do you have a child with homework and a younger child who has none? Sometimes younger siblings wish for “homework.” If this is the case you can give the younger child an “assignment” while the older child does his homework. Colouring a picture or cutting pictures out of a magazine are activities that may help a younger child to feel like he or she is also doing homework.