You've already established the morning and nightly routines associated with the beginning of school. Now it's time to brush up on homework tips - for you, not your kids. Here are tried and true tips for parents.
Provide a home study area with proper light and few distractions. Turn off the television and music. Ensure a dictionary, paper, pens, etc., are available. Ask your child if additional materials will be needed for some projects, like poster board or stencils, and get them in advance.
Help your children manage their time. Don't let them leave homework until just before bedtime when they are tired and cranky. Instead, help them plan a time to complete homework, while also considering other commitments they have during the week, such as music lessons or sports practice.
When your child does homework, do your own "homework." Show your child the skills they are learning are related to things you do as an adult. If your child is reading, read the newspaper. If your child is doing math, balance your checkbook. Help your children determine "hard" and "easy" homework. Encourage them to do the hard work first. Easy homework seems to go faster when they begin to get tired.
When your child asks for help, provide guidance, not answers. Encourage your student to divide homework assignments into "What I can do myself" and "What I need help with." Make sure you only help with the work your child can't accomplish independently, such as practicing spelling tests.
Watch for signs of frustration. Encourage your children to take short breaks during longer assignments, especially if they are having trouble concentrating. Reward progress. After your child has worked hard to complete an especially difficult assignment, celebrate that success by doing something special, like going for a bike ride together or sharing an ice cream sundae.
Look over their homework upon completion. However, don't correct it unless the teacher encourages you to do so. That's because a teacher can customize additional instruction for your child if he or she sees the pattern of errors.
Keep in touch with the teacher. Then you'll be fully aware of the quantity and quality of homework your child turns in. Remind your children that homework is a good thing. It builds responsibility and independence in your child and is a great way for kids to develop lifelong learning skills.