As a parent, it’s tough to see your child struggling with homework. Homework struggles can lead to frustration or even lower self-confidence in kids and teens, so it’s understandable to want to try anything to help! Today I’m sharing four things that I’ve found to be very effective in achieving homework success.
How to help when your child is struggling with homework:
Allow your child to express frustration — It’s normal for your child or teen to feel overwhelmed or angry when they are struggling. Insisting that they stifle their emotions or getting upset with them won’t improve the situation. Instead, encourage them to talk through what they are feeling and shift their emotions to a more positive direction (determination versus frustration.)
Get active — Have your child take a break to clear their mind and blow off some steam. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, dance to a few of their favorite songs, or even do a series of yoga stretches for kids. Physical activity can get your child’s mind off their homework troubles, start blood flowing (to their brain!) and let them come back to the assignment refreshed and ready.
Set a Time Limit — One thing I do with my daughter is set a time limit, after which we will put homework away for the evening. You might talk with their teacher first to decide what is a reasonable amount of time to spend on homework, and also to give them a heads up that you will be doing this. Most days we get all of my daughter’s work done in plenty of time. However, on occasions where she is having trouble or it seems like there is more work on her plate than normal, we stop when we reach our pre-determined limit and I send a note to the teacher explaining the situation.
I truly feel that kids need time to just be kids and after a certain point, forcing them to sit in a chair can be detrimental (especially when they are young, like my daughter who is in second grade). I think that this takes some of the pressure off my daughter, as she knows that she can try her hardest, but won’t be punished for not being able to finish her assignment quickly if it is difficult.
Enlist outside help — There’s no shame in admitting that a particular assignment or subject is over your head. It’s been more than ten years since I took a math class, so I don’t know if I will be the best person for the job when my daughters are doing their high school math homework later down the road!
Also, if personally trying to help your child with their homework is not being productive and is leading to unnecessary conflict, it might be a good idea to hire a tutor. I love my dad and he is an extremely intelligent and successful guy, but he was a terrible tutor! His way of working math problems was different than I had been taught so it was confusing to me. There were quite a few times where I just decided to wing it on my homework rather than ask my dad for help and end up mad at him.
Finally, a tutor can work with your child on overall concepts and school subjects so that when an assignment comes home they are able to complete it on their own. Plus, they’ll also do better in the class itself!
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by AvidBrain; however, all opinions are 100% mine.