By Ian Lee
The first quarter of school is almost over! Only 26 more weeks of school to go. How far is it until June? If you are asking these questions then you are a parent….with homework. Here are a few tips to help you manage your child’s homework while also keeping your sanity through the school year:
Homework Tip # 1: Get a grip on the Common Core curriculum
The Common Core is confusing for students and parents. As if remembering what you did in sixth grade wasn’t hard enough, common core curriculum has turned those same concepts on its side. For example, since when did math include so many dots and dashes?
How can you begin to help your children when you yourself don’t understand? If it makes sense to them, have them explain it to you. Their ability to re-tell these concepts will help sharpen their ability as well as improve their communication skills. For the student who doesn’t understand the concepts, learn with him. It’s okay to admit you don’t know the answer. Learning how to master a concept is a valuable part of learning. Your ability to sit down, take it all in, and grasp a concept will show your child that they can do it too!
There are also many resources out there to help you sort out the common core, such as: https://www.khanacademy.org/commoncore/map
Homework Tip # 2: Sync your teacher’s websites to your favorites on your browser
If you are a parent of a middle or high school student then you probably have come across more teacher websites than you can remember. Each teacher has a website for each subject that includes homework, assignments, projects, class notes, and more.
Take some time, gather all your student’s necessary websites and make a folder for them on your internet browser. That way, you can help your child manage all the information together.
Homework Tip # 3: When in doubt, use Siri
I have no idea how to multiply seven- digit numbers by four-digit numbers divided by quotients. But my Siri, which is also a built- in calculator, sure does! Don’t be afraid to use technology when you reach your limitations. Not only does your child get to find out if the answer she’s come up with is correct, you can use this as a final step of motivation. Students have to show all their work; the answer is in the journey not the final number. Use the final answer as a way to help your child master all the steps in the middle.
Homework Tip # 4: Pile on the praise
Positive reinforcement provides an immense self-esteem boost for children. When this positivity comes from someone they admire, positive statements are even more influential. Be sure to use homework time to remind your child how exceptional she is. Parents are the first to see their child’s strengths. Constantly reinforcing that children are exceptional in certain areas will help them through other, more difficult, scenarios.
Homework Tip # 5: Be present
Make sure to schedule time into your daily routine to go over homework with your child. Statistics consistently back up the fact that parental involvement in a student’s homework is vital to success. If you are able to sit down and focus completely on the task at hand with your child, you will be providing valuable one-on-one time. If your child has committed so much time to completing their work, take that same level of commitment to go through it with them. In addition, being present is an active lesson to your child in how important it is for them to be present, too.
Ian Lee is the tutoring coordinator at Hillsides. Hillsides provides complimentary tutoring in multiple locations in Los Angeles County throughout the school week. If you would like to find out more about Hillsides’ tutoring program, contact Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 254 2274 ext. 1284.