Homework Help—For Parents
After blissful years of not having to think about homework, suddenly your child is
in school and bringing home piles of it every night. No matter what grade level, the
H-word can bring shudders—and challenges for parents.
With these six homework-helping tips, you can learn how to support and encourage your
child, while also giving him or her the needed space to complete homework on their
1. Ask About It
When your child gets home from school, ask what the day’s homework is and when it’s
due. If your child has difficulty remembering assignments, consider using a checklist
or notebook to help him or her keep track of what needs to get done and when.
2. Create a Homework Space
Let your child choose a space where he or she feels most comfortable doing homework.
It might be at the kitchen counter or a bedroom desk. Just be sure it’s in an area
that’s quiet and has minimal distractions, so your child can focus. Stock the space
with study supplies so he or she doesn’t have to hunt for them.
3. Help, but Don’t Do It
Here’s a little secret: It’s okay if you don’t know how to do your child’s homework. That’s not your job! Instead, think about your role in terms of helping your child
help him or herself.
For example, you can ask your child to work through a problem out loud or explain
his or her thought process. In doing so, your child may end up answering the question
on his or her own. Taking this approach is much more effective than swooping in with
the correct answer or saying that you don’t know how to do it.
4. Make Time for Homework
Be sure to factor homework into your child’s daily schedule. Remember to consider
needed homework time when helping him or her make decisions about participating in
5. Partner with Your Child’s Teacher
Stay up to speed on what’s going on in the classroom. If the teacher has specific
instructions for homework, be sure you and your child follow them.
6. Minimize Distractions
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends establishing a “No TV During Homework
Time” rule. Your child may need to use the computer for assignments but try to keep
all other devices off until homework is completed.