Helping your child build good homework skills is one of the most important ways you can help your child do well in school. Homework helps students hone in and perfect the lessons they learn in school to help them retain the information. With the proper skills, homework can become a breeze for you and your child. If your child is just starting out in school, here are some practical ways you can help build good homework skills, setting them up for both short- and long-term success. 

Parents are teachers, too!

Teachers do their best to make sure every student understands the lessons that are being taught, though sometimes a child has a hard time remembering what they learned in class. 

You can provide support right at home by reviewing their work, listening to them read aloud or  by having them recite their spelling words. You don’t have to sit with your child the whole time they are doing homework, but try to be available by answering questions and simplifying directions. Remember not to be too helpful, it’s their homework and they must complete it in order to learn the skills. Just advise them and offer support and encouragement. 

Help your child get organized

Encouraging your child to be organized is another way to help them with their homework skills. Teaching your child how to properly use their school planners will help them stay organized and turn in their assignments on time. Many schools today provide planners to students for free during the first week of school to help start them off on the right path. 

When is the best time for homework?

Finding your child’s “prime time” for homework may be the key in their school success. There is not a single “best” time for homework to be completed. Each child is different. Just like adults, kids need to take mental breaks too. Short and regular breaks during homework time can help your child do their best when they return to their homework. 

Where’s the best place to do homework?

Deciding the best place to do homework is just as important as figuring out the best time for your child. Does your child do well in a silent space where there are less distractions? Or, does your child perform better with music playing in the background? Figure out what works best for your child. 

Help your child remember the facts.

For some students, memorizing things is easy. For others, it can be harder and they need a little help. One way to help your child remember things is to use mnemonic devices, which are memory aids. For example, using the Mnemonic HOMES helps remember the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). When your child has to memorize a list, have them write down the words in a vertical column. Then try using the first letter of each word to come up with a new word, phrase or sentence that ties them together. 

Make sure the homework gets turned in 

Once the homework has been completed, it’s time to make sure it gets turned into your child’s teacher! To ensure your child’s homework makes it from your home back to school, try putting the homework in a special folder in their backpack and then place their backpack by the door. Double check the backpack in the morning to ensure the homework and the folder are in the backpack before your child leaves for school in the morning. 

With your support, homework can be an effective tool for your child. Although your child should always complete their homework on their own, your help in growing their homework skills can go a long way. 


Links to Resources

10 Homework Tips

Helping your grade-schooler with homework

Homework Challenges: How to help your child