Being an Effective Homework Coach: Tips for Parents
Although homework is ultimately the student’s responsibility, there are several things that homework coaches (parents) can do to support the homework process. Here are a few ideas:
Help set up the structure for homework.
- This includes helping to schedule a daily homework routine, providing reminders and reinforcement, and encouraging encouragement so that the routine is followed.
- Encouraging goal-setting and celebrating success
- Ensuring that there is a quiet time and place for doing homework and that supplies are readily available
- Encouraging organizational strategies such as the use of an agenda or calendar
Convey the message that homework is important.
Discuss the reasons for homework and the value of it when talking to your son or daughter. There are two main purposes for homework:
- To reinforce what is learned at school and to provide extra practice.
- To develop organization skills, time management skills, and study skills for later schooling and careers.
Be available for help and consultation.
- Communicate with the teacher or school if there is an ongoing problem with homework.
Some potential homework problems include:
- Homework is taking too long (i.e., your child is spending hours on it every night)
- Your child never brings home homework, but then you find out about missing assignments at report card time.
- Your child seems to have difficulty understanding the homework and is getting frustrated.
Provide praise and encouragement.
When you give praise, be specific about what the task or particular accomplishment has been, rather than giving generic praise that will do little to help your child understand what they are getting better at. For example, “You did a great job at figuring out how to prioritize your homework tonight” gives more information than saying, “Good job on your homework.”
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