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Checklist for Helping Your Child With Homework

  • Do you set a regular time every day for homework?

  • Does your child have the papers, books, pencils, and other things needed to do assignments?

  • Does your child have a fairly quiet place to study with lots of light?

  • Do you set a good example by reading and writing yourself?

  • Do you stay in touch with your child's teachers?

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  • Do you know what your child's homework assignments are? How long they should take? How the teacher wants you to be involved?

  • Do you see that assignments are started and completed?

  • Do you read the teacher's comments on assignments that are returned?

  • Is TV viewing cutting into your child's homework time?
  • Do you understand and respect your child's style of learning? Does he work better alone or with someone else? Does he learn best when he can see things, hear them, or handle them?

  • Do you help your child to get organized? Does your child need a calendar or assignment book? A bag for books and a folder for papers?

  • Do you encourage your child to develop good study habits (e.g., scheduling enough time for big assignments; making up practice tests)?

  • Do you talk with your child about homework assignments? Does she understand them?
  • Do you meet the teacher early in the year before any problems arise?

  • If a problem comes up, do you meet with the teacher?

  • Do you cooperate with the teacher and your child to work out a plan and a schedule to fix homework problems?

  • Do you follow up with the teacher and with your child to make sure the plan is working?

In addition to helping with homework, there are many other important ways that parents can help their children learn. Parents can encourage children to spend more leisure time reading than watching television. They can talk with their children and communicate positive behaviors, values, and character traits. They can keep in touch with the school. And they can express high expectations for children and encourage their efforts to achieve. Indeed, family involvement in education is crucial if we want our children to succeed in school and throughout life.

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