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Homework. We often wonder who it’s harder on – the parents or the kids. The last thing many of us want to do after a long day is sit down and claw through pages of brain teasers that we barely remember learning ourselves. That said, homework is important. It teaches children how to independently apply what they’ve learned. If homework is a nightly battle in your home, keep reading for homework help tips.

Five Fresh Takes on Homework

Offer a snack before your child begins

Most children come back from school “starving.” It’s hard to concentrate with an empty stomach, but you don’t want to spoil their appetite for dinner. Offer your child something that will allow them to focus on the task but won’t fill them up too much. Good pre-homework snacks include apples and peanut butter, granola bars, and sliced carrots or celery.

Before or after dinner?

If your family eats dinner relatively early, say 5:30PM, it might be easier for your child to complete their homework after dinner. Younger children in kindergarten through 3rd grade who wake up with (or before) the sun, may do better completing their homework in the morning. Find a time that works for your individual child and family.

Avoid getting frustrated

It’s impossible for kids to dig deep and tackle hard questions when it feels like a parent is angry. Keep your emotions in check and remember that your child is just a child who is still learning. Take a few deep breaths and a break whenever you feel yourself getting worked up.

Big projects

Don’t leave big projects, such as science fair entries, for the last minute. Break up larger projects into smaller deadlines so that you don’t find yourself running out for poster boards and highlighters at 3AM. If you ask, teachers will often give you a schedule of the year’s projects so that you’re prepared.

Make it a game

Find funny ways to help your child memorize the classes of animals or math principles. Memory games can be based on anything — don’t be afraid to get silly! At the end of the day, it’s up to you to show your little one that learning, while sometimes difficult, can also be great fun.

BONUS

Make sure your child is doing homework in a distraction-free environment. The area should be clean, stocked with whatever supplies they need (paper, pencils, sharpeners), and should not be within earshot of a television.

You’ve got this!

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