Establish a place to do homework. This might be a desk in her bedroom, the kitchen table or the coffee table. It will have good lighting and be quiet. No radio. No TV. No video games. No cell phone calls.
Provide necessary supplies. Sharp pencils, erasers, pens, colored pencils, notebook paper, a tablet or laptop, and a good dictionary should be at hand.
Establish a time for homework. This could be immediately after school, or after a snack, or after an early dinner. Try to make it routine with visual, sound or other clues. The kitchen table is cleared and homework begins. The piano practicing is done and school homework begins.
Make a habit of doingthe hard homework first. Once it is out of the way, the child will relax and be able to do her other homework without thinking about the tough homework still to come.
Anticipate the child’s needs. If your child has difficulty keeping on task, sit by her and encourage her. Interrupt her daydreaming. Fetch her a bottle of water so she needn’t get up. Make sure she has sharp pencils. Remove baby brother so she can focus.
Establish yourself as a “go to” person. Encourage her to go to you to ask questions if she doesn’t understand directions or a vocabulary word. Explain a concept if she doesn’t get it. Ask questions if she seems stuck. Offer hints. Find another explanation online and read and discuss it together. Offer easy examples.
Don’t do your child’s homework. For her to learn to think, she needs to do the work herself. Help her to persevere through the difficult assignments, but don’t do them for her.
Create a reward for her hard work. Tell her you know she has worked hard and you are proud of her. Fix her a warm bath or shower. Read her a book in bed or tell her a story. Develop bedtime routines that relax and reward her for doing her work.
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