NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Homework Helper

Homework Helper 10/20/17


Last weekend was the first time this semester that my son came home.  We enjoyed some of his favorite foods and had a lot of fun visiting and relaxing.  He’s in his second year of pharmacy school at NDSU and he always has homework, so he also spent some time working on that during his weekend at home.  At this stage of the game in his education, I’m not much help to him.

It’s not like when my kids were in elementary and high school.  Over the years, my kids’ homework, and my helping them with their homework, was sometimes challenging, and sometimes frustrating, but oftentimes rewarding.

If homework is a fact of life for your family, these tips may help you be successful with it:

  • Design a homework-friendly space in your home. This area needs good lighting, school supplies, and limited traffic and noise.
  • Schedule a regular time for homework. Right after school? After a snack? Before free time? Observe what works best for your family and stick to the plan as closely as possible so it becomes a healthy homework habit.
  • Help your child with time and project management skills. A quick review of the backpack will help determine if this will be a short or long homework night.  One strategy is to start with the difficult homework and end with the fun or easier homework, when energy levels might be running low.
  • Get to know your child’s teachers. Attend school conferences and read everything your child brings home.  Learn what the teacher expects and is looking for in your child’s work. Ask questions and learn how to check on your child’s work.
  • While your child is completing homework, be present and available to him or her.  You could be close-by, writing your own lists, reading your own books, doing your own banking. Setting a good example for your children by working and thinking at the table, makes it more likely that they will stick with their homework.
  • Help your child, not by doing the homework for them, but by asking good-quality questions, reading directions and helping him or her realize that, with thought and practice, they will be able to do the work.
  • Casually time how long your child actually takes to do the work. The rule of thumb for early grades is to multiply your child’s grade by about 10 minutes per day, on average. If your first-grader is working more than 10 minutes a night, every night, or your fifth-grader is spending more than 50 minutes each night on homework, you may want to schedule an appointment to discuss it with his or her teacher.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/homework-boy-child-student-1815899/ (downloaded 10/24/17)

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