Do your kids need a li'l help on their homework? You may not be a teacher but you can still help out. These excellent insider tips get an A+ from us!
It's much easier to knock each subject down one at a time so don't let a kid talk you into one problem of math followed by one problem of spelling and so on. When you tackle their homework one assignment at a time, the work will go faster. The child's brain will be programmed to work math problems much easier if they're all in a row much than if he's going back and forth. Keep the schedule the same every time you do homework with the kids. Make sure they know exactly what to expect when it's homework time. Be stern and hold your ground.
2. Patience, patience, patience.
Many kids get frustrated with homework if they don't understand the material or if it's a particulary hard subject. C'mon, we've all been there, too! But it can be tough dealing with an overwhelmed kid who they throws or break pencils, shout and runs away when he gets frustrated. It can be easy to lose your cool quickly, but don't let it happen! Stop, count to 10 and allow the kid to get over the temper tantrum on his/her own. Once the child has calmed down, ease back into the work.
3. Answer 'Em Right
Sometimes you forget things you've learned back in first grade and when a kid comes home with a particularly hard worksheet, or you don't understand what the teacher wants in the directions, you can feel kind of dumb! It's common thing though – some material has changed since you were their age or ya just forgot how to do it!
If you don't know what to do, don't just guess. Try to figure it out, or look through the kid's textbook. Still not getting it? Leave it for the parents. Just explain that you weren't sure what to do and they'll appreciate your honesty rather than just putting wrong answers. And it totally happens to the parents, too so don't feel bad!
4. Sharing is Caring
If you're helping more than one kid, spend enough time with each of them. A lot of times when you're sitting for
more than one kid, one will do homework easier than another and won't need your help at all. But don't forget to check the homework even if they say they're done and it doesn't need to be checked.
When kids really know the material, they go through their homework quickly, often making minor mistakes which should be corrected. Don't let them fool you. And be careful! Sometimes, a usually responsible homework-doer will try to pull a fast one on ya and say there's no math homework tonight but double check the assignment book just in case!
5. Don't Be Afraid to Correct It.
When kids do homework, sometimes they want to prove that they know how to do it on their own. Allow the kid to try it out on his own if he wants to, but follow up immediately when he's done while the material is still fresh in his mind. Circle any answers that are wrong and allow him to try again. Go over the problem with him until it is correct. This also includes making sure words are spelled right and letters and numbers are written correctly. Since homework is supposed to be checked, especially in early grades, teachers expect it to be all right.
6. Praise and Rewards.
It's important for the kids you're helping to know that you're proud of their work. Make sure you praise their efforts, especially if it was hard material that took a long time or if the child had a difficult time completing it.
Get a special treat or snack that the kids like a lot and give them a portion of it every time they knock something off of their homework to-do list. Try to give as much positive feedback to the kids as you can and give the parents a progress report every day.