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mother helping daughter with homeworkHomework can have many benefits for children. It can help them lock in skills or concepts they have studied during class. It can also help them develop study skills that can be invaluable in college or even in the working world. It teaches them that learning can occur anywhere – not just in the classroom. And, finally, homework teaches a child to be responsible and to be a good time manager. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind about homework:

  • Make sure your child has a well lit, quiet place to study. Turn off the TV and reduce possible distractions for your child.
  • As a parent, you need to know that if your household has Internet access, then your child has access to the Britannica Digital Learning via Iowa AEA Online. This can be an excellent study tool for your child.
  • Set aside a time each day that is reserved strictly for homework. Make sure it is long before bedtime.
  • When your child does homework, set an example by doing homework yourself. If the homework is in math, you can balance your checkbook. If it’s in reading, you can read the newspaper, a journal or a book.
  • Provide guidance – not answers. If your child is struggling to find some information, guide them where to find it – don't just simply provide it. Your child needs to learn the life skill of doing the research rather than turning to someone else when things get tough.
  • Whenever possible, you should help your child understand that homework is the child’s responsibility and not yours.
  • If your child has been diligent in getting homework completed, celebrate that success with a special event such as a pizza dinner, a trip to the park or some other fun activity.
  • Check with the teachers to see if your child is working at grade level, and if not, find out what can be done to help improve academic progress.
  • As a parent, remember that if you try to re-teach a lesson to your child, you may only confuse your child more.
  • To help your child with reading, have your child read aloud to you every night.
  • When your child reads aloud and makes a mistake, point out the words he or she has missed and help your child to read the word correctly. After you've corrected your child on a word, have him or her re-read the sentence, and make sure he or she understands.
  • An excellent way to see if your child is comprehending what he or she is reading is to ask your child to pause in the story and to tell you what has happened so far in the story and to predict what your child thinks may happen and why.

If you have a child with a learning disability, homework assignments can take on a whole new series of challenges. Your child might resist doing the assignments or cry and complain about being forced to do homework; this is not unusual, but if homework assignments seem to be too difficult, talk with your children’s teachers. You can explain to them the problems your child is encountering, and together, you may be able to develop alternative homework strategies and assignments. Have a consistent time in the day for homework and sticking to it is important for many children, and we can't underscore the importance of eliminating distractions for your child.

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