When starts back in August of September that means earlier bedtimes, morning routines and daily homework for the students in CMS. Parents often dread an afternoon of struggling over homework; yet, if you set up a routine early in the year and be consistent, the year will can be a smooth one.
- Teach your children to take difficult assignments in small bites.
- Help your child choose and plan a project that is within his/her own ability level.
- Praise should equal the effort given. If your child always does well in spelling, don’t go on about it. Choose a weaker area to work on and then praise for good effort.
- Remember that this is your child’s education—not yours. Homework should be their work, not yours.
- Talk about learning with your children. Show your children that learning is a lifetime endeavor. Share funny stories about your education and point out how you learned from your mistakes. Emphasize the parts of school you enjoyed the most.
- Resist blaming a “bad Math gene” for problems in Math—that just gives them a reason to stop trying. It’s better to encourage persistence and to provide empathy and support. For example, “I remember working on learning my facts as well; it will take practice, but I know you can do it.”
- Read with your children, not just to them.
- Have 20 minutes when everyone in the family reads.
- Talk about what you have read—talk about ideas.
- If your child needs encouragement, read every other paragraph, page or chapter to your child.
- Read a long chapter book as a family and then rent the movie on your family night. (Huckleberry Finn, Charlotte’s Web, Stewart Little, The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe are good books to start with.)
- Help bring math to the real world: Make change, add up the things you will buy, figure the tip out loud without using a tip card.
- Talk about gas mileage and how it is calculated.
- Cook together. Double and halve recipes.
- Put puzzles together. Show them how math is everywhere—even re-arranging furniture is about Math—spatial relationships, measurement, balance and symmetry.
- Play mental math games in the car—Count by 2’s 5’s 10’s.
By Jenny Beaumont, Swan Learning Center, www.swanlearningcenter.com