Helping with homework is one of the most common things that parents say they do to support their children's learning.
Many experts have found that helping with homework cultivates positive learning behaviors, reinforces class material and signals to children that their education is important.
The first step, especially with kids 13 and under, is to have them do their homework at a communal space, like a dining room or kitchen table.
If other children are in the home, they can all do their homework at the same table, and the parent can sit nearby to support the work effort.
When it’s thoughtfully assigned, homework provides deeper engagement with material introduced in class.
And even when it’s “just” worksheets, homework can build the automatic habits and the basic skills required to tackle more interesting endeavors. Adult life brings its share of tasks that are both compulsory and unenjoyable.
That is, frequent homework help from parents might not be the cause of problems, but rather, coincide with them.
My colleague and I wanted to see if this was the case.
However, evidence suggests that the quality of homework help also matters.
Parents can make a difference through warm encouragement and a positive outlook and by communicating high expectations to children.