Homework Struggles Strategies for parents

By Dina Halaseh, Educational Psychologist

Is your child not putting in any effort or refusing to do assignments? Does it take too long to complete homework? Does your child refuse to do homework alone or postpones it until the last minute?

Research now shows that proper parental support can have more effect on school success than a student’s intelligence or school setting. However, all too often, parents end up hindering their child’s progress.

Advantages of effective involvement

  Higher grades

  Better attitude and behaviour

  Willingness to do homework

  Will reach higher educational levels

Tips for helping your child succeed at school

1. Ensuring you have a proper study environment in your home – no television, media, tablets or any electronics on before or during homework time

2. Equipping the study area with the tools and materials needed for homework

3. Creating a positive attitude about homework time

4. Reviewing homework when they finish (only for younger children)

If your children are in elementary or middle school, it is essential to talk to them about their schoolwork and ask to see if they finished all the assigned homework. You can check for notes and comments by teachers and discuss how the skills they are learning in school are important in everyday life.

Linking academics to everyday life

Your child must see you reading, writing and even using maths, such as the use of fractions in baking! This way, you are linking what your child is learning in maths to everyday life. Linking what your children are being learning in school with their goals and interests is the best approach.

Children should do their homework alone

All children need help, but let’s remember to provide guidance only, not answers. If your child is supposed to do homework alone, then avoid interfering.

And if you are supposed to help, then help, but only when teachers ask you to take a role in homework. This is important because you want to help build your child’s own studying skills- children should do their homework on their own.

It’s a bit different with teens; they usually do not want parents to check their homework or go through

their books, and they are being tired of lectured about

their future. At the same time, they usually want you to show up to their teachers’ meetings.

It’s essential to set, communicate expectations and actively plan for your child’s future. Our goal should always be to nuture an independent student from an early age. Teaching them how to study rather than teaching them the material itself allows them to learn and grow.