Top Tips for Homework Help

1   Maintain two-way communication.
   Listen and respond to what your child has to say.  When you respond, don’t plead or argue.  Pleading puts your child in charge and arguing creates a no-win situation.  Respond with assertiveness and stay positive.

2  Set goals with your child, not for your child.
   Focus on one attainable goal at a time.  Start with a goal that your child is almost guaranteed to achieve.  That will make the others more appealing and continued success more likely.  Don’t pay for every accomplishment with a treat or promise.  Often an honest, thoughtful response like “You did a great job on the assignment, and I am really proud of you.” is enough.  Of course, if your child has worked especially hard on a challenging assignment and completes it successfully, then that is well worth celebration.

3  Expect progress.
   We all respond to the expectations other people have for us.  If your expectations are low, your child’s achievements are likely to match them.  If your expectations are high, but are not unreasonable, your child will respond as well.

4  Be enthusiastic and use humor.
   You do not need to start every session with a joke, but a smile goes a long way.  Laughter, shared jokes, and humor can lighten the homework load.  Look at your child’s strengths and avoid criticism.  If your child’s performance is poor, try encouragement and reassurance that you value them and their effort, not their performance.  

5  Link what is known to what is new.
   Help build associations between what your child already knows and what is being learned.  Children learn best when mastering new concepts by learning how they are alike and different from concepts that they already know.
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