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How to help your kids with homework

help your kids with homework

If your kids go to school, they also have to do homework. Children would probably rather play instead of dealing with the annoying maths tasks, but it does not help. Homework is valuable, because firstly it reinforces what they learn in the classroom, secondly they bring to light whether the child has really understood everything, and third, they get used to the next generation of structured and independent work. Our guide explains how to help your kids with homework.

Homework: Should parents help?

Now this is a matter of working independently, because often the students turn to their parents because they have not understood something or do not know what they are asked to do. Here is the temptation to help the children. But if you do this in the long run, you have the opposite effect – your child can not learn by himself. So what do you do? The Hamburg educational adviser Prof. Peter Struck has a promising method to help your kids with homework, if you feel that your offspring can not get along without you: “Then parents should look carefully, where the problem lies and offer their support on the principle of minimal help Helping is to help the child in specific situations in a targeted manner – and with the most economical means. “

Help your kids with homework: Encourage and give hints

Each child has their own rhythm, but it is probably important for junk dealers to find some encouraging words, according to the motto “If you do your homework now, you will have more time to play later.” It is advisable to find a routine. The kids should start with homework on their own – you can say that you are there in case of trouble, or you agree to look at the results together. It is important that your offspring try it for yourself. If you help, it should be more clues – tell your child where to look it up. That’s how when you help your kids with homework, they slowly but surely learns to help thenselves.

In some cases, you can give the guidelines, you start, explain, and then you let the kids go on. Do not fall into the trap that they write down only, she was given by you. They should have their own thoughts and learn something for themselves. However, if it can be seen that your child can not do the homework because she did not understand it at all, you should contact the class teacher or the class teacher by writing a short note explaining why your son or daughter is not solving the task could. Ask other parents if they were in a similar situation. Then you can ask the teachers together to explain it again.

Even if you do not do the homework for your children, it does not mean that you do not support them in learning. You can help them learn vocabulary or improve their spelling with a few exercises. Concentration exercises are always good, if it does not work that way in arithmetic. Which type of learning is your child? Again, you can support accordingly, if you take this into account. So there is still plenty to do – even if you do not help directly with the homework.

Help your kids with homework: special strategies

Learning by heart with children: 13 tips

Formulas, vocabulary, poems, historical dates: All this your child will have to memorize at some point. So you can support it when you help your kids with homework.

First, the basics: Can your child not focus well , does it have a short attention span? Or does it find the vocabulary drumming or story just too boring to get involved? Is it more of a visual type , does it take more breaks in learning? All of this should be considered before you sit down with your protégé to help him memorize.

Timing is everything when memorizing

If your child has just come home from a busy school day, or if the chaos of his siblings rages around him, this is not the time to learn difficult things. Let your kids rest a bit, create a quiet environment and then you can start.

Important things first

Gain a good overview of what your child should learn by heart and then see that it learns the most important things first. You should first tackle the most complicated math formula or the most difficult vocabulary. For other learning, focus on the core messages. When they first stand, you can learn around it.

Did your child really understand everything?

It does not help if your child does not know what this is about. It needs to understand the contextbefore it can memorize the substance. Here you can support with questions and explain if necessary.

When, where, how, why: Let your child talk

Is it a larger subject matter or a poem, let your child first tell freely. Just ask any questions you come up with. How, where, when? As if you do not know anything. Through free narration, your child’s first connections are established and the material becomes more present.

Visualization is key

Is your child a visual type? Okay, then get the colored pencils out and let it paint a picture with lots of details or make a collage of the material. Also a mathematical formula can be painted in a flower or in an airplane. The main thing is, your scion has the formula in mind. But this can also happen with small things, you can link certain key messages with items – preferably those that fit in a pocket, because that can feel your child when it reads or writes in the school.

You can also work with associations – when it comes to keeping names or historical data, it connects to other things. Your child will have enough imagination, so a conqueror can be associated with stinking cheese, a famous battle with a dog. As I said, the imagination knows no bounds and with such donkey bridges one can then help oneself with great learning material.


If your child enjoys performing, take advantage of it. Let it declaim what you have learned . This is especially good for a poem, because it can reinforce the words with theatrical effects. In front of the mirror, your child can let off steam and learn.

Learn by heart: Smaller tasks are better

You know that from yourself. It is much better to learn in small bites. The first two stanzas first and then piece by piece. Make sure that the end of the poem retains its importance. Often you only keep the first stanzas or vocabulary and then it hapert at the end. For vocabulary is worth a card index , in which the already learned vocabulary disappears in the back and are brought out again at the end, so that everything has memorized.

Repeating is everything

It’s like it is: only practicing and repeating is memorizing. So that it is not too boring, vary with the different units. That’s why the nibble units are so good, because they can then be wonderfully pushed back and forth. Every new learning unit repeats what has been learned from the previous day and then it continues.

For better motivation: Changes the place of learning

You can also try to make a change in the place of learning something so it does not get so rigid. Vocabulary in the kitchen, poems in the living room and formulas in the bedroom. Sometimes it helps to just sit down somewhere to get more energy back for learning. Even during a walk in the fresh air your child can tell you what they have learned.

Breaks are important when memorizing

Demanding your child to sit for hours and cramming vocabulary is a bit much required. Let it take enough breaks to process what you have learned. Exercise is always good after long learning sessions, but a game of computer games is more likely to be at the end of a whole lesson, because your child has to concentrate again.

For presentations use visual cornerstones

If your child is at an age where he already has to give lectures, he can split the lecture material by linking certain parts of his presentation to specific places in the classroom. For the first part of the presentation it has the door in the eye and then it goes on. Things in the classroom are better than people, because they can distract again. So your child can walk from table to window or table to table as he presents the various topics of his presentation.

Cheat sheets help memorizing

Your child will write down the difficult formulas, vocabulary or historical data, so something has already set in the brain. Use each time a new “cheat sheet”, because so the learned and repeated and your child will someday not have to write down the most important things, because it has kept everything. You can make a ceremony out of it and tear up the cheat sheet – that makes everyone feel good.

Learning by heart: investing in the future

Of course, you do not have to use all the learning methods described here. You know your child best and know how to learn best, whether it paints pictures to support, writes a cheat sheet or declaims a poem in front of the mirror. And it learns for life, because as an adult, it’s likely to be in situations where good memorization can be useful. 

Improve spelling

If your child has spelling problems, there is a good and effective way to help them, which you can make a part of when you help your kids with homework.

Improving Spelling: Motivation is important

So when it’s clear that your child is not affected by dyslexia , it’s about developing a good strategy to correct the spelling mistakes when you help your kids with homework. To demotivate many mistakes in the dictation. Your child will definitely want to improve his spelling and will be willing to do something about it. You are asked to give extra motivation. This also means that these exercises are not a punishment for punishable dictations, but a way that your child can handle upcoming spelling exercises in the school with greater confidence. Always look to the future. If you practice, stick to predetermined arrangements: it is practiced on certain days. The time span could look like this:

  • Second graders: 10 minutes
  • 3rd graders: 15 minutes
  • 4th grader: 20 minutes

It’s best not to combine the exercises with homework, because after doing your homework, your child may not be so concentrated anymore. If you practice regularly, at least four days a week, you do not need to practice intensively and long before a dictation. Regular exercises are better and show more effect. And they also do not have to be for eternity, after a month, see how things have changed and maybe you can practice a day less.

Rewards are always important. You can stick a dot in a booklet after each exercise. In addition, even more if the errors are not so much more. There is a reward for a certain number of points. You know best what you can provide for incentives. Also important: Set an alarm when you practice. After the given times is over. This gives your child a sense of reliability. And with success, even with small: Always praise, what the stuff holds! That’s the best way to motivate you.

Cardbox method: How to improve the spelling step by step

To improve spelling, the Zettelkastenmethode has proven, because here is not a whole dictation written, but pointed to erroneous words and with repetition of the wrong spelling is erased. 

Cardbox Method: How does it work?

First and foremost, you’ll get yourself a file box and about 60 cards. On these cards you write the words that are coming up as errors. You can find it easily if you look at the homework and dictation. Look for similar mistakes, for example, if there are problems with P and B, choose other words as well. Then you put these 60 words in the paper box. For some words, your child may also need the context, so you can read a whole sentence to incorporate the erroneous word, but only one word needs to be written.

The alarm clock is set to the necessary time span. You sit down now with your child who has a sheet of paper in front of him. You draw a card out of the box and dictate the word or sentence in which the word is found. Your child writes the word. Then you give him the index card and it must match his word with the on the index card. If it misspelled the word, it correctly spells out the word on the lower part of the index card and underlines in a color that you have previously selected, where it made the mistake in the word.  

When your child spells the word correctly, it also rewrites the word on the index card and places a dot next to it in the hit color that you previously identified. Then you put the card back in the box and you take out a new card. If in the course of the exercises, not the same day, your child is spelled the word at least four times correctly, the word is considered worked and comes in the back of the card box. This will give you an overview of your successes! The box is filled up over and over and in weeks before dictation, then look at what difficult words can emerge and practice them daily. It is your job to replenish the paper box with new words over and over again to give your child greater security.

Improve spelling: Do not forget to read!

But not only daily writing brings something, even reading promotes. It is actually quite clear – who reads is confronted with correct spelling. The more you read, the more the correct words are also written. Therefore, ensure a nice reading atmosphere. The more you read, the more your offspring will be encouraged to read. Start reading aloud at an early age, so your kids will enjoy reading books.

With the card-box system and enough reading material you have laid the foundation. Now it is time to be patient and to enjoy smaller successes as well.

Concentration exercises for children: Simple and fun

If your children can not really concentrate on their homework, there are a few concentration exercises that help them to focus better for when you help your kids with homework.

Is your child a little fidget or easy to distract? Do not despair, there are a few concentration exercises that can help him. And they are not boring at all – to make a difference, they should be fun too. They should also be short – otherwise the concentration will flute again.

Concentration exercises with movement

Exercises where the children are supposed to move are especially suitable for the little ones, but even older people enjoy themselves:

  • To run and stop in time: For this you need an instrument, which can also be a simple drum. You let the children go in time to the rhythm and as soon as you stop playing, they have to stop. The faster you play, the harder it gets. Here the children concentrate on the beat.
  • Finger exercises: The thumb tip should touch all fingers of the hand one after the other. The children can then play this thumb game simultaneously with both hands and try to touch the thumbs on their hands in different order.
  • Balance: Let the kids balance things on the hand, on the head or on the foot, it also trains the coordination. Even when balancing without an object, they must concentrate very much. You can run it on a line or a small wall. To make it more difficult, you can also balance it backwards.
  • Painting numbers: with your left hand you draw a zero, then an eight with your right hand. Then they raise both arms and paint the numbers at the same time.
  • Write with your foot: Writing with your foot or with your other hand is an unusual sequence of movements in which the children have to concentrate very much. So right-handed people do something with left and left-handers do something with their right hands.
  • Counting Steps : Counting steps sounds easy, but just let them count every third step and have a chat! You have to be able to do that first!
  • Directions: Have the children describe the way to school so that others can find it. You can write it down or, if you are not so good at writing yet, tell it. They should remember all the remarkable things, such as a colorful front door or a gnarled tree.

Mental concentration exercises for children

Although exercise training is a lot of fun for the kids, there are exercises that are more for the head, but can also add momentum, and are a great help as support when you help your kids with homework.

  • Silent Meditation: Let her sit still for a while. To make it a little more interesting, let them imagine that they have something on their heads that should not fall off. One minute should be enough to sharpen their attention. If this is too long, start with half a minute and then increase it over the next few days.
  • Counting words: Read something to them or let them listen to the radio or an audiobook. They should count for a certain time, how often a certain word was needed.
  • Alphabet: Let her recite the alphabet, but in reverse order. Or you should omit every third letter.
  • Look into the clouds: Especially nice – the children look for shapes in the clouds, close their eyes for ten or twenty seconds and then try to rediscover the shape.
  • I pack my suitcase: Always nice and also a good game for the road – someone starts and says “I pack my suitcase and take with me: a hat”. The next one then adds another item to the hat, and the next player then has to add another item to the existing items. So at the end of a fairly long list, because you have to enumerate all things in order again.

Concentration through relaxation

 But sometimes it just makes sense to relax. Painting helps a lot. Meanwhile, there are so many beautiful coloring books that are well suited to escape your own thoughts. Yoga also helps children to relax. Here are a few exercises:

Concentration: The environment must be right

Really insightful: Your child can not concentrate on doing his homework when surrounded by chaos. A well ventilated room, a tidy desk with no distractions, a glass of water are good conditions for better work. Sufficient sleep is just as important and a well-balanced diet is crucial to making your child feel better. And with these nice exercises it works better with sitting still – definitely! Besides, they are not only good for children – try them for yourself.

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Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion, health and beauty writer from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.