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“Helping Your Child Learn”

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Parent tips from the Utah Education Association

Parent-Teacher Partnerships – Homework
By Kathy Christiansen, sixth-grade reading, writing and social studies teacher at Cedar Ridge Middle School, Hyde Park, Utah

A must for school success is completing homework assignments and turning them in on time. It is a good idea to sit down with your child and make a homework plan together. First, decide where your child will do homework. A quiet place with a flat surface, plenty of elbow room, a comfortable chair, and good light will work. Make sure there are necessary supplies like paper, pens, pencils, a dictionary, thesaurus, and erasers. For older children, and some younger, access to a computer is a must.

Next, decide when homework will be done and what assignments your child should do first. Will your child be expected to start homework right after school, before dinner, or after dinner? In organizing homework, the sandwich method seems to work best for most children—have your child start with something easy, do something hard, and finish with something else easy.

Some other questions you will need to discuss are: Will television or music be allowed during homework time? Can your child take breaks during homework time? Who will check up on your child to make sure everything is complete? What rewards or consequences will be administered concerning homework? Who will call the teacher if there is a question or problem concerning an assignment?

Getting children to complete homework is not always easy, but being consistent with your plan is essential in helping children become successful students. As parents support and guide children, children will learn to value education and find that school becomes less stressful and more fun.