The goal of homework is to help students remember and understand what they learned in school that day. For children ages 5 to 7, it can also help teach them independence, responsibility, as well as time-management and planning skills — all keys to success in the real world.
It’s important for beginning learners to understand that homework is more important than dance class, soccer practice, karate, or the long list of activities they may be involved in outside of school. A little homework goes a long way toward reinforcing classroom learning. Just 10-20 minutes of homework a day for children in kindergarten through second grade is seen as most effective.
Here are four homework habits you and your child can develop right now for more successful school days (and stress-free nights) ahead.
1. Set the Stage
Your child needs a quiet, well-lit, clutter- and distraction-free spot to do their homework. This should be the same place every day, whether it’s the kitchen table or a desk in their room. Make sure all the materials your child needs to complete their homework are within arm’s reach, including pencils, paper, crayons, or anything else.
2. Time It Right
Decide with your child the best time to tackle homework. For some children, it’s best to complete assignments right after school, while the information is still fresh in their minds and they have ample energy. (An after-school schedule provides structure your child can stick to.)
If you choose to schedule extra-curriculars first, keep in mind that children may be too tired after these activities to focus on schoolwork. Bedtime is never the time to rush through homework.
3. It’s Not Your Homework, It’s Theirs
Parents should be involved in their child’s homework, both to see what they’re learning and to gauge how well they’re absorbing concepts. Being nearby while your child does their homework also allows you to monitor any frustration they feel — and encourage breaks when needed. But this doesn’t mean you will do their homework for them. You want them to get that feeling of pride and accomplishment on their own.
4. Get Excited and Be Positive
As your child’s role model, if you view homework as a chore or something that interferes with your personal schedule, your child will mimic that behavior. Let your child know how grown-up it is for them to have homework and how proud you are of them. Try to instill in them that it is “fun” to be able to do the assigned tasks.
Let them show you their work and praise them for finishing homework. Be encouraging — it will make a difference.
Get ready for your child to go back to school with our guide — it's full of recommended books, teacher tips, homework help, and more resources for a successful school year.
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