Dealing With Your Kid’s Difficult Homework

Helping your kids with school work doesn’t need to be stressful. Yet “stressful” is how many parents describe their efforts to help their kids with tricky topics. Although most parents are eager to help their kids to improve their study habits, attempts to help with homework may end in disaster if the parents do not understand the work themselves. Parents can still effectively offer help even with challenging problems. 

child doing homework

Create a Study Atmosphere

Doctor Kenneth Barish, a psychologist, recommends that parents set aside a short time period early each evening, which is dedicated to homework. This period should be short, no more than 10-20 minutes per night according to recommendations from the National PTA. Also, contrary to popular beliefs, kids thrive best if the homework is done in a common area as opposed to privacy of their bedroom. Parents do well to avoid spending more than 20 minutes on a problem that neither the parent nor the kid knows how to solve as this will only increase the frustration.

Do Some Research

Avoid the temptation to be your kid’s Superman and only intervene when it is necessary. Also, from time to time, you are bound to encounter problems you cannot solve. There is no shame in admitting that you’re having difficult in solving the problem on your own. There are a number of resources you can use to help you kids if the problem is too difficult even for you. You can start by asking your child to show you an example either from her class work or a textbook. A simple Google search may help you get the info if you can’t find an example otherwise. You can even reach out to the child’s teacher to help you access the right resources to help your kid with the particular problem. Then, you can use the example to help your child to solve the problem. To assist with similar problems in future, focus on the steps involved rather than just the answer.

Use Flash Cards

Flash cards are a time-tested and proven method of learning for children of all ages. A study by academics at Bridgewater State University found out that college students who used flashcards for their exams performed significantly better than the ones who did not. If the flashcards are tailored to the lesson under consideration, they can be especially useful in solving mathematics problems. And quite likely, both you and the child will have fun when using this method of study.

So don’t give up when you encounter difficult problems when helping your kid with homework. Remember that there are a number of resources you can use to solve most problems. If you create a good study atmosphere each evening, research difficult problems, and use flash cards, homework will likely become a fun part of your evenings.

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