6 Back-To-School Study Solutions for Parents
After-school studies can present challenges for parents too. This checklist will make sure you’ll always know how to help your child with their homework.
Back-To-School Study Solutions: Establish a Routine
Of all back-to-school study solutions, this is the most important. Whether it starts right after school or after dinner may vary by child, however. Cathy Thompson, owner of Beyond the Classroom, an in-home tutoring service in Burlington, Ont., says making sure your son or daughter has eaten a healthy after-school snack-proteins like nuts and yogurt, as well as lots of water-will help them focus. “If your child starts fiddling or becomes agitated, you may need to shift their homework time around,” she says.
Back-To-School Study Solutions: Find a Tutor
Thompson hears from exasperated parents out of their depth as early as grade two. This is where a tutor can provide some relief. If a tutor’s not an option, do some online research to bolster your own knowledge before settling in to help. There are many helpful, free online programs: the British Columbia government, for example, offers LearnNowBC. Look into programs offered at community centres like the YMCA, too.
Back-To-School Study Solutions: Don’t Supervise Your Kids
Letting children study independently is good for their self-esteem and development. Sit with your kids to do homework in kindergarten, grade one and grade two. Make the experience about bonding and learning things together. But by grade three, you can step away but be in the room for questions. Then by grade four, adopt a more hands-off approach. “Teaching children time management and giving them opportunities to do their homework in a calm environment are the best ways to be supportive,” Thompson says. And remember: it’s more about effort than perfection.
Back-To-School Study Solutions: Help Your Kids Learn From Their Mistakes
“Talking about their assignment and asking guiding questions can help your child think through a problem,” says George Kalimeris, national director of school perseverance programs for the YMCAs of Quebec. “You’ll be able to see patterns indicating where they get stuck and communicate this to the teacher.” If your child gets frustrated, offer to take a break, and always let them see that you know they can do the work themselves.
Back-To-School Study Solutions: Mark Deadlines
Mark deadlines on your family calendar and work backwards to track milestones along the way, Thompson says. This will keep everyone focused. It may be tempting to cave and help your kids complete assignments, but sending them to school with incomplete work gives them a chance to learn about the consequences of their actions.
Back-To-School Study Solutions: Be Openminded
Before assuming something is medically wrong, consider your child’s study habits. Sometimes it’s not the homework that’s the struggle, but knowing where to start, Kalimeris says. That said, learning difficulties can be related to medical issues. Some indicators can include difficulty remembering, poor co-ordination and problems following directions. If the problem persists after your child has received extra support with homework and studying, see a doctor.
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