and Study Skills
is an integral part of schooling in the United States. You
can help your child get the most out of homework.
Homework can develop your child's mind and skills, and reinforce
classroom learning. It can also help you keep up with what's
happening at school.
Teachers assign homework to help your child:
- Improve your child's thinking and memory;
- Help your child develop good study skills;
- Encourage your child to use time wisely;
- Teach your child to work independently; and
- Teach your child to take responsibility for his or her
When you help your child with his homework, you can:
- Review and practice classroom lessons;
- Get ready for the next day's class;
- Learn to use resources such as libraries, reference materials
and the Internet;
- Explore subjects more fully than classroom time permits;
- Extend learning by applying skills to new situations;
- Integrate learning by applying many different skills
to a single task (e.g., book reports or science projects).
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- Find out what your child is learning;
- Talk to your child about what he or she is learning;
- Spark your child's enthusiasm for what he or she is learning.
How Can I Help with Homework?
You can create a good environment for doing homework and help
tie homework to everyday life.
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- Show that you think education and homework are important.
- Set a regular time for homework. You will probably
need some flexibility in the homework schedule, to accommodate
your child's other activities (such as sports or music lessons).
But if outside activities prevent your child from finishing
his or her homework, he or she may need to drop one of these
- Set up a quiet, well-lit homework area.
- Turn off the television and regulate social telephone
- Provide essential supplies such as pencils, pens,
erasers, writing paper and a dictionary. Also consider other
supplies your child may need such as a stapler, paper clips,
maps, a calculator, a pencil sharpener, tape, glue, paste,
scissors, a ruler, index cards, a thesaurus and an almanac.
- Show your child how what he or she learns in school
applies to the adult world. Let him or her see you reading,
writing, using math and doing other things that require
thought and effort. Talk to your child about what you do
- Help your child use everyday routines to support what
he or she is learning. Teach him or her to play word
or math games. Help him or her look up information about
something in which he or she is interested. Talk to your
child about what he or she sees and hears when you are together.
- Talk about school and learning activities in family
conversations. Ask your child what was discussed in
class that day.
- Attend school activities. Consider volunteering
to help in your child's classroom or at special events.
- Look over completed assignments before your child
turns them in and read the teacher's comments on
How Do I Help My Child Develop Good Study Habits?
Good study habits will benefit your child throughout his or
her life. You can help develop them if you:
Encourage your child to make a chart that shows how much time
he or she expects to spend on each step.
- Don't do your child's homework. Your child will
understand and use information better if he or she does
his or her own homework. It will also boost his or her confidence
in his or her abilities.
- Help your child make a schedule to keep track
of homework assignments and due dates.
Help your child manage time. If your child is assigned
a long-term project, discuss the steps needed to complete
it on time, including:
- Selecting a topic;
- Doing research;
- Identifying discussion questions;
- Drafting an outline;
- Writing a rough draft; and
- Revising and completing the final draft.
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- Help your child get started on research reports
or other big assignments. Take him or her to the library
and make sure he or she gets help finding resources and
using age-appropriate websites.
- When your child has completed his or her research, ask
him or her to tell you the main points he or she wants
to make in the report.
- Give practice tests.
- Help your child avoid last-minute studying.
- Talk to your child about how to take a test. Be
sure he or she understands how important it is to read instructions
carefully, keep track of time and avoid spending too much
time on any one question.
Checklist for Helping Your Child with Homework
Set a regular time for homework?
Provide your child with the papers, books, pencils and other
items needed to do assignments?
Provide a well-lit, quiet place to study?
Set a good example by showing your child that the skills he
or she is learning are an important part of adult life?
Stay in touch with your child's teacher?
Know what your child's homework assignments are?
See that your child starts and completes assignments?
Make sure the television is turned off while your child does
Help your child get organized?
Encourage your child to develop good study habits?
Talk to your child about homework assignments?
For More Information
Tips for Parents, U.S. Department of Education, 2002.
Your Child with Homework, U.S. Department of Education,
1995, revised 2002.
Your Student Get the Most Out of Homework, National
PTA, National Education Association, Undated.
- Taking the Hassle Out of Homework, National