Happy Thanksgiving Marvista families!
As everyone heads into student-lead conferences this Thanksgiving week, one common feedback teachers give to families is that the student needs to be doing more homework to practice the skills being taught at school. I thought I would write this week’s reflection to provide some tips on how to help support your student with his/her homework.
Tip 1: Set aside a time each day for family learning. Children learn most through modeling, and it will be a whole lot easier for your student to do homework if everyone in the family is doing a learning activity. Maybe you yourself spend that time reading a book or magazine. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time, start with 20 or 30 minutes and build from there, but try to make it the same time every night to create the consistent habit.
Tip 2: Help make a learning space, devoted to homework. Help your student find a quiet place if possible with strong lighting and a firm surface to do work on. It is much easier to start doing homework in a space we associate with doing homework. If music is being played in the background keep it without words, like classical music or jazz.
Tip 3: Help only when your child truly wants it. Some parents force their help on their children, and this only leads to frustration and/or dependency where they need parent help in order to complete a task.
Tip 4: Help only when your child can describe what the teacher said. Otherwise students learn to zone their teachers out at school and just have their parents teach them when they get home.
Tip 5: Move away from your child before he/she “gets it”. Some children believe they can only “get it” when an adult is holding their hand every inch of the way. To prevent this from happening, avoid sitting at the same table as your child when they are doing homework, especially when they are on the brink of learning something new. This encourages independent learning.
I hope these tips help you as you support your young scholars continue learning at home!
-Andrew Ritsema, School Counselor