Sometimes it’s hard to know how to best encourage your children in their schoolwork. You don’t want to do their work for them, and you don’t want them to feel pressured in unhealthy ways. Here are some ideas on how to help your child perform well in school without overstepping positive boundaries.
Don’t Overdo It
Most of us believe it’s vital to be actively involved in our child’s education. However, some recent studies show that being involved in the wrong ways can actually hinder your child’s performance. Discipline for poor grades, monitoring classes, and reviewing homework assignments all appear to prove fruitless when it comes to helping your child, and they may even interfere with progress. As Reader’s Digest explains, not only might these sorts of activities hurt children’s grades, it’s spoiling them. Most parents and kids don’t enjoy this kind of interaction anyway, so consider yourself off the hook. And more good news — there are plenty of wonderful things you can do that help your child’s school performance, and chances are they are options both you and your child will find painless — maybe even fun!
One of the best things you can do to help your child with homework is to create a dedicated study area. Scholastic recommends considering your child’s work habits and constructing a space that supports his or her particular study style. For instance, youngsters who prefer quiet time may be most comfortable in their bedrooms. Children who do better with more interaction may do best with a corner of the living room or kitchen.
Get your kid’s input on preferences. Whatever you decide together, keep the area uncluttered and committed to the purpose of your child’s homework. Ensure there is bright lighting, that school supplies are close at hand, and the area is relatively quiet so your child can focus. Soft music may be okay, but turn off the TV during study and homework times.
Another great way to help your child be successful with schoolwork is to set a routine and stick with it. Some experts suggest talking with your kid about what time of day is most comfortable for homework, such as right after school, before supper, or after supper. Your youngster may need time to unwind after school by shooting hoops or grabbing a snack. Or maybe your kid gets too tired after supper to concentrate. Talk about what feels best and figure it out together.
Most of us like to be rewarded when we do well. Kids are no different, so the Child Development Institute recommends creating a healthy rewards system for success. Consider using positive, healthful incentives instead of electronics or candy as part of your system, and set clear goals. For instance, track progress on a calendar, and after so many days of completed assignments, your child can receive something special, like a playdate with friends or a healthy treat.
Make Learning Fun
Take the “work” out of “homework” and think of fun ways to supplement your child’s scholastic endeavors. As an example, the great outdoors offers a plethora of educational fodder. There are wonderful outdoor learning activities such as rock identification, bird watching, and stargazing. Kids can learn by raising seeds or examining animal tracks. Be creative and incorporate your child’s interests into teaching sessions. It’s a clever way to keep your youngster developing knowledge and skills without even noticing. Does your youngster love dogs? Another idea is to delve into dog-themed lesson plans. Choosing subject matter your child loves and a setting that makes education fun keeps your kid motivated and growing.
It seems that old school-style homework help is out! Embrace new strategies for helping your child’s school performance and you’ll both be happier. Dedicate a space, set a routine, provide incentives, and look for ways to make learning fun!
Jenny Wise | [email protected]