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How to build good homework habits

Building good homework and study habits is not only an opportunity for your child to learn, but a chance for parents to get involved in your child's education. Many of the issues relating to success in school revolve around developing good study habits. Parents can play an important role in providing the support, environment and resources necessary for successful studying.

  1. Talk to your child's teacher(s) at the beginning of the year.
    Ask about the homework policy, the grading system?
  2. Set a regular time for homework to be done.
    Find a time that works for your child and their day-to-day activities and stick to it.
    Let your child play a role in the setting the rules. Make sure that you and your child agree on the set time and place. This can eliminate some of the homework-related disagreements between parents and children.
  3. Give your child their own work space specifically for homework.
  4. Turn off anything that could distract the child.
    Try not to talk on the phone in the same room. Give your child enough quiet time to finish the assignment. It's hard to work in the bedroom if everyone else is having fun watching television in the den.
  5. Go over the assignments with your child.
  6. Help when appropriate.
    Don't do your child's homework for her. It's okay to help your child get focused and organize, but insist that she do the work herself. Occasionally, you may need to clarify the directions of the assignment; in those cases, let your child take a stab herself before offering to help.
  7. Check completed homework to make sure the work is finished.
  8. Ask to see corrected homework.
    Get your child into the routine of showing you homework at every stage, even after the teacher has marked on it. You'll get a chance to praise the great work, and you'll be aware of which subjects are difficult for your child.
  9. Notify teacher as soon as you notice a homework problem.
    If work is too difficult or too easy, or your child is having trouble concentrating, let the teacher know, and discuss ways you can work together to help. You need to talk to the teacher if your child regularly refuses to do homework, if you can't provide the materials necessary to complete an assignment, if you and your child don't understand the instructions, or if the work seems to take too long.
  10. Praise good work.
    Point out specific things you like about it. This will show your child that homework matters, and regular praise will boost your child's ego. If you do find errors, don't criticize. Instead, review his work together and try to pinpoint his area of difficulty.
  11. Set a good example.
    Read and write in the evenings. If you're reading the paper, putting together a shopping list, or writing a letter, you'll demonstrate the importance of reading and writing.
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