As our kids are back in the swing of school, they are faced with the inevitable reality of at-home assignments. How do we help our kids at home? First things first, make sure you have all of the necessary learning tools to support your children during afterschool hours. Teachers who require at-home assignments will provide the materials needed and will likely include directions. We have some practical tips to help your child with their at-home assignments.
1. Encourage independence, but stay available as needed
It is always important to encourage your child to complete assignments independently, but if the content is not clicking or the workload is overwhelming, step in as the adult and break down the assignment. Breaking down the assignment can mean making the amount of work to do more manageable by working on the assignment in increments (some today, some tomorrow) but it can also mean working on the content in sequential increments so the work is easier to comprehend. Asking your child’s teacher ahead of time how they model and break down new concepts in class is a great way to reinforce learning at home and to help children stay consistent with strategies taught in the classroom.
2. Create a dedicated workspace
The options for this may seem limited but actually, are endless. Some children are able to complete assignments self-sufficiently and for those children, a kid-friendly (or teen-friendly) space with all of the school supplies needed in an area with limited distractions is great. For children who need a tiny bit more supervision or have only just begun adjusting to a school schedule, a family-friendly workstation is a wonderful alternative. Having an adult close enough to support if needed but working on their own things in tandem can take the focus and the pressure off of little learners who are working towards independence. We loved the ideas we read from The Spruce and the great reminder that a kid-friendly workspace is in reach whatever your family’s needs may be.
3. Mix it up
If your child is having a particular draw to reading first thing one day and working on some math first the next day, that is ok! Homework does not always have to be done in a set order to help your child succeed. It is also ok if your child wants to work on one assignment, submit, pause and work on something else. Mixing it up can actually boost learning and increase motivation and your child’s focus. Just as we do as adults, kids can hit their limit after too much, and sometimes switching to another assignment can clear their minds for when it is time to circle back to unfinished homework.
4. Make a plan
Just as it’s important to have a dedicated workspace to focus, it can be highly beneficial for children to have a plan surrounding homework. One of the first things to consider is, “when is my child’s focus the best?” Plan a homework schedule around their most effective learning time, whether that is when it’s freshest in their minds after school, or during breakfast before school. A homework plan can help teach children the importance of time management and prioritization – life skills they will need far beyond their academic careers. When creating a plan with your children, provide opportunities for choice, “would you like to read first, or work on one of your assignments first?” Choices empower children and offer opportunities for ownership over their own learning and can help homework go smoothly. When creating a homework plan, remember to keep in mind the where, when, who, why, and how.
- Where, will they be working on their homework?
- When, what time of day works best for your child?
- Who, will be available if they need support?
- Review why homework is important and the skills being reinforced at home.
- And make a plan that works for your family so you know how dedicated homework time will look in your home.
If you are looking for afternoon assistance and skilled nannies to assist in homework help, always remember you can contact us via email or at 973-466-2669 to support you with finding your perfect after-school helper, whether you have a kindergartener or a middle schooler!