Is Your Child Struggling with His Homework? Tips on How to Help

     If your child is clearly upset or unable to figure things out, or if his teacher isn’t giving him the help he needs during the school day, you should step in and work out the child’s misunderstandings. The idea is to keep your child winning. Academic confusions can build up over time so that kids may eventually take a loss on studies. You will help to create independent learners by making sure they understand the basics of arithmetic, reading, grammar, etc. so that as they progress in school, they’ll be able to grasp new lessons and apply what they learn effectively.

     Another way to foster independence is to read over his work and make a challenge for him to find the words you see are misspelled or other mistakes. This will get him interested in and used to checking over his own work for errors. It is also essential to get your child in the habit of using reference materials on his own. Get him a good, age-appropriate dictionary and encyclopedia set (or online encyclopedia subscription) so he can look up what he doesn’t understand. The dictionary is too difficult if your child frequently doesn’t understand the words in the definitions of words he’s looking up.

     If your child is averse to doing homework, it’s probably not because he’s inherited his father’s stubbornness but more likely that he is having difficulties that need to be straightened out as soon as possible before his confusions multiply.

     “It might seem like an attitude problem, but his reluctance may be a sign that he’s having difficulty with the material,” says Jed Baker, PhD, author of No More Meltdowns. You should talk to your child’s teacher to see how he’s doing in class; if he’s struggling, he needs help. Go back through the beginning of his material and move forward clearing up any misunderstandings about terms and symbols. Also, make sure he didn’t skip a vital step in his learning. For example, some kids have a very hard time doing long division because they didn’t fully understand multiplication or because they were absent when the class was learning about estimating. Go back to basic concepts and make sure he understands these. 

     With these tips you’ll soon find that your child is not only able to get through his homework better, but he’ll even perform better in school, and you and your family can focus on a variety of other fun activities to do together after school.

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