One day your kid comes to you with a math problem or physics question and asks for your help. For most parents, it’s been years from your last algebra or physics problem set or wrote an essay.
Still, if you want your kid to perform well in school, refusing to help with homework is not an option. How do you help your child study if you don’t have actual knowledge? We asked parents to share some advice on helping their kids with complicated homework.
How parents can help with homework
Rule #1 – Be genuine in your desire
The main rule of studying together with your kid is that no help is better than bad help. If your kid asks you for advice and you are annoyed, this will only damage your relationship and decrease your child’s desire to study or come to you for help.
It’s ok if you have no knowledge of the subject but don’t fake it. Sometimes, your child just needs support while seeking out the information. Be a study buddy for your kid and learn together.
Rule #2 – Take an actual interest in what your kid is learning at school
To be always aware of your child’s academic success, keep track of what he or she is learning. Many parents make the mistake of taking an interest when it’s too late. When your kid is in 4th or 5th grade, subjects are easier. However, when it comes to middle school, major problems appear, and parents are not used to solving them.
Make family studying a custom. It will bond you with your child and give valuable insights into his or her actual knowledge.
Rule #3 – Learn to love studying yourself
Show kids why homework is good. The most valuable thing you can teach your kid is not specific math or physics formulas. It’s the ability to genuinely love learning and seeking out information. The only way you can teach this capacity is to love learning yourself. Look at the books that your kid has, watch documentaries, solve mathematical problems and write essays there. Whatever it takes.
Rule #4 – Don’t be ashamed to Google
In the age of information, Google, and Wikipedia, the words “I don’t know” are no more than just an excuse. Of course, googling will not turn you into a mathematician, but it can certainly shed light on the basic principles and concepts. Try Kahn Academy for STEM subjects.
Remember that if your kid is learning, so can you. Instead of saying you don’t know something, go ahead and seek out the information together.
Rule #5 – If you can’t help yourself, outsource
It’s okay if you don’t have time for each homework assignment. You can hire a tutor, have your child seek out extra help from the teacher before or after school, and seek out peer tutors. I’ve had success hiring tutors who are two grades older than my child. Not only do they know the content, but they are often great role models too.
Rule #6 – Talk to teachers
Okay, it’s true that kids hate when their parents start peeking at their performance, let alone discussing it in school. However, it’s your duty as a parent to keep track of your kid’s success, and it’s completely fine if you check in with teachers at school.
Most teachers actually appreciate when parents take an actual interest in their children’s lives and help them succeed.
It’s actually pretty simple. If you want your kid to be successful at school, don’t distance yourself from it. From the day your child entered a classroom, you are in this together.
p.s. And it’s okay if you don’t have time for each homework assignment. You can hire a tuition agency, have your child seek out extra help from the teacher before or after school, and seek out peer tutors. I’ve had success hiring tutors who are two grades older than my child. Not only do they know the content, but they are often great role models too.
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