Homework Help

"Schools should teach kids how to learn, and parents should teach them how to work by establishing work rules and work ethic at home."
—Dr. Mel Levine, Co-Founder and Co-Chair, All Kinds of Minds

Homework provides an opportunity for parents to reinforce and build upon what a child learns at school. Follow these tips to help your child achieve success during homework time.

  1. Set a consistent time each day for doing homework. During this time, distractions should be limited (e.g., television should be off; other family members should be doing quiet work too).
  2. Encourage your child to make a homework checklist. The checklist should include estimating how long each assignment will take, setting priorities, collecting materials for the first task, setting a timer, completing the task, collecting materials for the next task, resetting the timer, and placing the completed assignments in his backpack.
  3. As needed, provide assistance to help your child get started on a task. Support might include providing the first sentence of a paragraph or clarifying directions.
  4. Help your child make a list of all the materials he needs to gather before starting his homework.
  5. Provide materials only as they are needed. For instance, instead of distributing an entire package of pencils, give your child two pencils at a time.
  6. Break large tasks into smaller, shorter, or simpler "mini-tasks." Allow your child to take a brief break after completing each mini-task.
  7. Before beginning homework, encourage your child to decide which assignments can be done without assistance and which require the help of an adult. The simpler assignments should be completed before the more complex tasks.
  8. Ask, "Why do we need to learn this?" and answer it seriously. Connect the concept with "real life" to establish relevancy and interest. If you need help making the connection, ask your child's teacher.
  9. Check work in progress. If an assignment that is given on Monday is due on Friday, ask your child to show you what she has finished each day or to show you a plan of what will be done each day between Monday and Friday.
  10. Encourage your child to follow a writing process. For instance, use the C.O.P.S. proofreading strategy (capitalization, organization, punctuation, spelling) to create a checklist.

All Kinds of Minds is a non-profit institute that develops programs to help parents, educators, clinicians, and students address differences in learning. For more information and additional tips for helping students succeed, click here.

©2006 All Kinds of Minds.