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Homework Helpers: How To Help Your Child Excel

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Kids may barely be out of school, but many parents, especially those that work outside the home, are probably eagerly looking forward to them going back. Than goodness for day camp to, in the meantime, pick up the “slack”.

Still, while kids may secretly be longing to the socializing with friends (once again), it’s the learning and the homework they’re not so much looking forward to. And, while the former is the responsibility of the teacher’s and the school, the latter, is all up to you….and just like the kids, not something you’re looking forward to.

Still homework can be a success…it’s just a matter of finding a successful strategy first.

· Make TV time contingent on completing homework assignments: Sure the first things kids want to do when they get home is grab a snack and sit in front of the family entertainment system. But, unless they only get a specified amount of viewing time, it’s best that they munch while they study, and without any distractions. And, that means moms and dads turning of the tube (for a time) too. Instead turn on some mellow music that fosters focus and concentration or grab a book or some paperwork (your need to catch up on) too.

· Have dinner and snacks (at least partially) prepped ahead of time. Older kids can get a quick snack on their own, and can pretty much monitor their own schedule…but younger children may need your help and your guidance. Have snacks ready to go, and dinner ingredients chopped, seasoned and prepped for the skillet or oven. This will free up some of your time so that you can spend more (quality time) with the kiddies and oversee what they are doing.

· “Space” Yourself: Make sure you schedule some free time to spend with the kids specifically for doing homework. And, make sure schedules are easily viewable and available for all members of the family to see.

· Contrary to the popular saying… “do” put off until tomorrow what you don’t have to do today. Kids should feel your presence and authority in and encouraging way. So, don’t leave them unattended to study while you catch up on otherwise “avoidable” chores. Instead stay close by to answer questions, help out, and supervise.

· Use “time off” productively. Even if your child doesn’t have any homework or finishes quickly should mean carte blanche for him or her to do whatever he or she pleases. Instead stick to standard rules, such as only one hour of TV a night and find some other productive or educational way for your child to bide his or her time. This is one of the best ways to help keep kids focused and on track.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Homework Helpers: How To Help Your Child Excel

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