Have you ever looked at your child’s spelling words and thought, “I can’t spell those words off the top of my head” or looked at their math homework and felt inadequate to help them with it? My own mother told me that she found herself in similar situations more often than she would have liked. My mom graduated high school and attended some college which means she probably learned most if not all of what my siblings and I learned during school. The problem is that as time passed, she forgot a lot of what she had been taught.
Jessica Shepherd, education correspondent for TheGuardian.com reported from a survey that, “Some 37% of [the] children said they were sometimes unable to finish their homework because there was no one at home who could help them.” She also added that, “Some 83% of parents with nine to 13-year-olds admitted to pollsters that they had been unable to do homework tasks set for their children.” So how do we become parents who are capable of helping our children with their homework? My advice is to start learning or relearning things your child is studying at school. Education should be a lifelong pursuit. One thing I have started doing is printing out my own spelling words to hang on the fridge with my daughters. We take turns quizzing each other.
Of course, as parents we don’t usually have a lot of time on our hands to take on another task like learning algebra. The rule of thumb should be to do only what you have time and energy for. There are other ways to help children with school work, too. Andrea Stanley, writer for Parents.com, lists five tips here. They include:
- Don’t Fake It. Don’t try to muddle through homework you don’t understand.
- Ask Professor Google
- Create a Homework Hotline
- Don’t Mix Dinner and Diagrams. If you’re attempting to make dinner while trying to master the order of the planets in the solar system, there is guaranteed to be a mix-up along the way.
- Invest in a Tutor
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