The best place for doing homework is: Wherever your child is most comfortable
. Kids have many different homework styles. Some may work better at a desk in their room. Others prefer a spot at the kitchen table. Wherever they work, make sure it’s well-stocked with the items they need, and free from distractions like TV, phones, and siblings at play.
You should correct your child’s homework.: False Teachers give homework for various reasons, especially in the early grades. Some do it mostly to track a child’s learning and progress, and want to see what the child does entirely on his or her own, including mistakes. Others, especially with older kids, use homework to practice and reinforce skills. For this kind of homework it may be helpful to have a parent review it and make suggestions for improvement. You should still leave those fixes up to your child to make. If you’re not sure what your child’s teacher expects, ask!
When is the ideal time for your child to do his homework?: After a break and a snack. All kids are different, so this isn’t a “one size fits all” rule. But children generally do better with homework when they aren’t distracted by late-afternoon hunger pangs. So a snack before settling in with their work is a good idea. The most important thing is to schedule a regular study routine and stick to it.
Your child will do best if he does his homework at the same time every day.: False. Consistency is important for homework success. But that doesn’t mean your child must be sitting down with his books and papers at exactly 4:15 p.m. every day. A routine can mean reliable, daily behavioral guidelines like, “You can play with your brother as soon as you’ve finished your homework,” or “Homework must be finished before dinnertime.”
My child is having a hard time with her homework. What should I do?: Talk to her teacher. It’s normal for children to need a parent’s guidance while starting homework assignments, or to ask questions about a challenging concept. But if your child is having trouble, the answer isn’t for you to do the work. Before worrying about a learning disability, talk to your child’s teacher about the trouble she’s having. Find out if more can be done in the classroom to prepare her for what she has to do at home.
How much time should a first-grader be spending on homework?: 10-20 minutes. For K-2 kids, most experts say that 10-20 minutes of homework per day is best, helping reinforce what they’re learning in class without overwhelming them.
Researchers into homework have developed what’s known as the “10-minute rule.” It suggests that about 10 minutes of homework per grade is most beneficial. That means that even in high school, more than about two hours of homework a night is probably too much.
All kids can benefit from homework?: True. Research has shown that homework is an important part of learning for all kids. Some parents say that their child just doesn’t respond to homework. But it might just be that he’s getting the wrong kind of homework. For example, homework for young kids should be short, sometimes involve activities they enjoy, and lead to success without a lot of struggle. If it’s the wrong kind of work for your child’s age, or if he’s being loaded down with too much, homework may be more frustrating than helpful. Talk to his teacher for advice.
Kids today do how much more homework than 20 or 30 years ago: Not much more. Despite what it may seem like, research shows that kids are getting about the same amounts of homework today as the children of previous generations. In most cases, kids aren’t horribly overloaded with homework. In fact, they spend more time doing almost every other activity, including playing, shopping, and helping around the house.
Younger children should not use the computer for homework: False. Teachers’ policies about using computers for homework vary. Ask your child’s teacher what she prefers. She may encourage your child to use a computer for research and for doing assignments. Some teachers post homework, projects, and extra information for students online. Help your child when she asks, and make sure she’s well-organized in her homework space.
My child seems very stressed out by her homework. What can I do? There are many ways you can help your child manage her homework. Kids aren’t born knowing how to organize and plan. Helping her learn to set priorities, figure out how long a project might take, and use a calendar or other planner is important. Limiting after-school activities to one or two favorites gives her more time to focus on schoolwork. If there’s something she’s just not getting, help her get comfortable with the idea of asking her teacher for extra guidance.