How to help: Provide Guidance
- Help your child get organized – Help your child to make a schedule and put it in a place where you’ll see it often. Writing out assignments will get him used to the idea of keeping track of what’s due and when. If your child is not yet able to write, write it for him until he can do it himself. A book bag or backpack will make it easier for your child to carry homework to and from school. Providing homework folders in which your child can track his assignments for safekeeping also can help him to stay organized.
- Encourage Good Study Habits – To reinforce good habits at home, you can:
- Help your child manage time to complete assignments.
- Help your child to get started when he has to do research reports or other big assignments.
- Give practice tests.
- Help your child avoid last-minute cramming.
- Talk with your child about how to take a test. Be sure she understands how important it is to read instructions carefully, to keep track of the time and to avoid spending too much time on any one question.
Watch for Frustration
If your child shows signs of frustration, let him take a break. Encourage him and let him see that you know he can do the work.
People of all ages respond to praise. And children need encouragement from the people whose opinions they value most-their families. “Good first draft of your book report!” or “You’ve done a great job” can go a long way toward motivating your child to complete assignments.
Children also need to know when they haven’t done their best work. Make criticism constructive, however. Instead of telling a sixth grader, “You aren’t going to hand in that mess, are you?” say, “The teacher will understand your ideas better if you use your best handwriting.” Then give praise when the child finishes a neat version.”
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