I’ve had many parents ask me if they should help their kids with homework and if so, how much help should be offered? My rule of thumb with our 3 kids was always to offer help only after encouraging them to try it on their own first…and it worked. Our kids took responsibility for their OWN work and we were there for support only. If you jump in too quickly, kids become dependent on others to ‘think’ for them. They come to think of homework as jumping through hoops…something to get over and done with. Homework should be WORK that’s done at HOME. Therefore, it’s up to them to work at it!
Are there “teachable minutes” when it comes to helping kids with their homework? You bet! But, you’ll want to decide when you catch them and how. For example, a teachable minute might present itself when reading the directions on a homework page. You can point out KEY WORDS in the directions so that you child takes notice of these in the future. Another example would be to offer choices on how your kids will divide up their homework load. You might say, “Which homework assignment will take the longest? You can do that first, ride your bike or watch TV for 30 minutes, and then finish the rest? OR . . . You can finish the others, ride your bike or watch TV for 30 minutes, and do the longest one after that when you feel refreshed. YOUR CHOICE.” This helps kids feel in control of their time while also teaching them to plan out their homework over a certain period of time. Teachable minutes caught!
For little ones, I always referred to their coloring, painting, and reading with me as “homework”….then when they actually got “homework,” it wasn’t something new to fit in!
What are your thoughts about helping kids with homework? Please share!