8 Great Homework Help Tips

Raise an all-star student with these helpful homework tips, sure to improve your child's study habits.

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1. Teach workload management.

Help the child create a homework checklist. The checklist should ask the following questions: How long will this assignment take? Is there a portion of the assignment that should be done first? What materials will I need to complete the assignment? When does this assignment need to be handed in?

2. Make sure the directions are clear.

Always start by clarifying directions. Are there any words in the instructions that the child does not understand? After reading through the instructions, ask the child to tell you in her own words what the assignment is about.

3. Divide the workload.

Break up the homework into smaller tasks. Just take the first half the worksheet, and then offer a break with a stretch or going to the water fountain for a drink.

4. Start with the easy tasks.

Identify which tasks or questions the child might be able to do on his own, and which he might need help with. Start with the easy tasks first.

5. Teach power reading techniques.

Introducing the technique of skimming can be a slippery slope. Only train the student how to "speed read" if she's pressed for time, but you don't encourage the habit of scanning.

6. Give practice tests.

Test taking can be nerve-wracking, but learning this skill is a necessity. Taking short, simple practice tests will not only familiarize the student with the material, but with the test format itself.

7. Encourage breaks.

Children retain information better when they concentrate for brief periods with rest in-between. Generally, children in the younger elementary grades will need breaks every 15 minutes, while children above third grade can study for 30 minutes before needing a break.

8. Make it meaningful

It's easier to remember facts and concepts if they are relevant to everyday experience. You can help students to learn the material by discussing how it relates to current events or daily life.

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