Second Grade: Helping with Homework
"Dad! Mom! I have homework tonight!"
As a parent, how do you react? Do you immediately feel a headache coming on, or do you think of this as your chance to share a few minutes of private time with your child?
If you choose to take an active interest in the homework, you will enjoy:
- exploring areas of your child's school world
- visiting about the day's activities
- getting a glimpse of your child's learning patterns and abilities
Spending time together on homework shows the child that you value school and learning. Sit down and review the assignment; then check the progress when she is done. Have your child tell you what she did and why. This will give the child a chance to work through the problem solving again. Parents should not give answers or do work for children, but your active interest will help your child get positive results. And knowing what your child is studying will help you explain what is learned in school and how it relates to your family life and to the world.
Young children are usually proud to have homework. As they progress into higher grades, they may find homework less appealing because it interferes with more attractive activities, like being with friends. Set the stage now for homework.
Set aside a time and a place for homework. The kitchen table right before or after dinner is a favorite homework scene for many families.
Be careful not to bribe your child. Homework is a natural part of being a student. If you make it a priority, your child will do the same.
Science experiments are often a child's first homework. A parent may need to help the child obtain supplies and do simple experiments at home. These may be reported on in school. Children are more interested in the world about them if they can contribute. Children learn best from active involvement with their learning. Reading a text or hearing a lecture is a part of learning, too, but not as effective at this age as the involvement process.
Spelling is another common homework assignment. Five minutes of spelling each night can help a child master this skill. Help the child identify spelling words in conversations by making an effort to use them. Be sure to post the weekly successes on the refrigerator or bulletin board to show your interest and pride. Do not expect perfection. Expect a best effort.
Reprinted with the permission of the Iowa State University Extension. © 2008 Iowa State University Extension.
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