How to Help Your Child with Homework for Common Core Standards Success

An important role you can play in support of your child’s learning and Common Core Standards success is to ensure that he has a proper environment in which to complete assignments at home. Teachers have differing philosophies and policies on the nature and frequency of homework, but you can take a number of actions to assist your child regardless of how much homework he has on a regular basis.

  • Have a time and place for homework. Set a specific routine for accomplishing homework when your child gets home from school. It’s certainly acceptable to take a break and unwind after a tough day at school, but you want to make sure he tackles his homework before it gets too late in the evening.

    If no homework is assigned, take the opportunity to simply have a conversation with your child about what he learned at school that day.

  • Don’t micromanage during homework. Don’t stand over your child’s shoulder while he’s doing homework. Make sure your child understands the directions for his assignment, stand back, and let him dig in. Give him space to think and wrestle with concepts (productively) before you swoop in to help him out.

    If you lend a helping hand too quickly, your child soon learns that you’ll do the work for him at the first sign of difficulty. Let your child have an opportunity to ask for help before you offer your assistance. Teachers refer to this as “wait time.”

  • Read up on essential skills and concepts. Look ahead to important content that your child will encounter and read up on the unfamiliar material (which will vary depending on your comfort level with certain concepts). Although you may end up doing some homework of your own, don’t feel the need to conceal this from your child.

    Taking the time to sit down and investigate difficult problems is a productive way to ensure that he truly gets it.

Many people are naturally more comfortable with certain subjects and content areas. If you know ahead of time that you aren’t as familiar with a particular area, such as math or history, take time to do your research so you can help your child if needed and accurately assess his understanding of new material.

  • Ask questions when homework gets tricky. Reach out to the teacher if the going gets tough. If your child has difficulty with particular skills or concepts, his teachers will most certainly want to know so they can supplement his learning in some way. Give them a call or send a quick e-mail to discuss the problem if this comes up.

    Apart from directly contacting the teacher, check to see whether the teacher has a school-based website or other resources that can help you out.

  • Check for a homework policy. Make sure you read the fine print when it comes to the school’s or teacher’s policy on homework. If you aren’t seeing homework on a regular basis, make sure the school doesn’t have a policy that outlines how much and how often homework is sent home. Some schools think that less is more, while others include homework on a regular basis.

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