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How to Help Your Kids with Homework
Without Doing It for Them

8 ways to help your child with homework

All children come home with homework, often from a relatively young age. It's natural to want to lend them a hand to make sure they get it down. Whether they have to fill out a worksheet or write an essay, you want to give them the best chance.

However, it can be difficult to give the right amount of help. If you go too far, you might as well just do their homework for them. Your child will probably only appreciate a certain degree of assistance too. While it's helpful to know you're there, they don't want you looking over their shoulder all the time. So how can you help them without doing everything for them? Try these techniques to give them just enough assistance.

A girl writing in a notebook
Resist doing homework for your child and instead help them via
learning techniques. (Via Alex Proimos - Wikimedia Commons)

Set Up a Homework Space

Helping your kids with their homework doesn't have to involve their work directly. One of the simplest things you can do is give them space to get everything done. They need to be able to concentrate, which requires a suitable space. They should have somewhere quiet, with few distractions. It might be a desk in their room or just a seat at the dining room table. Just try to avoid TV or other distracting things. If they need to use a computer, it can be best for them to sit where you can see them. It's a better setup anyway because you can monitor them and see if they need help.

Set a Homework Routine

A regular homework routine is good for the whole family. Your child can get their work done at the same time every night. So they have the rest of the evening for other commitments. When you decide homework time is should be up to you. Perhaps your child has after-school activities, so they can do it when they get home. Maybe there's time to do it after dinner or even in the morning before breakfast. It's often best to get homework out of the way as soon as possible. That leaves the rest of the day for other activities, whether it's playing or family time.

Help Them Find the Right Resources

Giving your kids some assistance with their homework doesn't have to be about doing the work. However, you can help them to find the right tools to get things done. Sometimes they might need some help, and you aren't always in the best position to give it. Doing some research together can be the best way get things done. You can both understand what they need to do and how to do it. For example, you can find plenty of websites where you can get essay help. There are also many resources to help them study in informative and fun ways.

Girl joining the dots in an excercise book
With the right help your child can excel in school and find their
fun to do.  (Via Randen Pederson - Wikimedia Commons)

Check Their Work

Checking your child's work can be useful, but you have to be careful. It's important to remember that it's their homework, and they have to do it themselves. You can make suggestions, but you shouldn't be correcting anything for them. For example, if you spot a mistake, you might want to suggest that they think about the question again. Or if they're doing a written assignment, you can nudge them towards fulfilling the rubric more accurately. But you shouldn't give them answers or make direct corrections to their work. Provide them with pointers but don't do it for them.

Consider a Tutor

If you think your child could do with some extra help, you could consider hiring a tutor. Having a tutor help them is different to their parent doing the same thing. For one thing, the tutor should be professionally qualified. They have knowledge of the subject they teach and experience teaching children. Tutors are also removed from your child, in that they don't have the personal investment that you do. This can mean there's less pressure on their pupils. Although you have the best intentions for your children, you're probably not a teacher. Even if you are, teaching your own child can cause tension.

Offer Praise

It's always important to be liberal with praise when you're helping your kids with their homework. Positive reinforcement works better than negative comments, so concentrate on the former. If they've made a mistake, tell them what they have got right as well as what they need to look at again. Getting homework done can be a frustrating time of day, especially after a long day at school. So do your best not to make it into a tension-filled activity that you both hate. Make sure they know that they're doing well just for putting in the effort.

Boy making notes with a desktop light on
One of the ways parents can help their child with homework is to provide
the right study place at home. 
(Via Tim Pierce -

Be Interested

Showing an interest in their homework doesn't have to mean doing it for them. You can ask questions and make suggestions, for example. The ability to listen to your child is essential when it comes to homework. You don't even have to wait until homework time to show an interest. You can discuss school at any point during the day and talk about what they've been sent home with. It could be before school, afterward, or at the weekend.

Speak to Their Teacher

Sometimes, when your child needs extra help, the best route to take is a discussion with their teacher. You might need to clarify an assignment they were given or make sure they get the assistance they need. Occasionally, your child will just find it difficult to understand the material they learned. If you try to reteach them what they already learned, it could just get confusing. For example, you might have a different approach to long division than the one your child has just been taught. For younger children, you can email or speak to their teacher about the problem. However, with older kids, you should encourage them to address the problem on their own. It could be through a conversation, or they could write a note asking for extra help.

Helping your kids with their homework doesn't have to mean hovering over them. Be supportive without being overbearing using these tips. Above all, remember that learning should be fun.

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