Helping with Homework

Homework hour can be demanding with one child. And more demanding if you have children.
Its simple when you have one child. You can focus on homework during homework time and once it gets done, you put away the books and relax, satisfied with a job well done.

Enter child number two and homework time isnt picture perfect anymore. Your older child is reciting her multiplication tables to you when younger one interrupts every two seconds asking what color to use for Santas hair in her coloring book.

Welcome to the world of parenting children! With all the complexities of sibling wars and equal portions, homework hour can become quite a nightmare. Here are five ways of helping children with their homework.

Plan Ahead: If you fret about your childrens grades, you cant take homework hour lightly. The children must be planned well ahead. Write down what each child needs to learn and the approximate amount of time which one sibling may need undivided attention. In such cases, assign a known portion of lessons to the other child to work on alone. Prepare yourself by reading ahead to cut short teaching time.

Be prepared: All the stationery and supplies that go into days homework must be on the childrens study table before lessons begin. Time is wasted and unnecessary arguments crop up between children when the parent is away for a minute. To make the most of study time, keep yourself completely free. You will see your children learn quickly.

Alternate: While one child works on few math problems, you can take up the other childs alphabets and numbers.

Train children to work on their own, without constantly interrupting you with doubts and questions. Set aside a time for clearing doubts.

Finishing one childs homework completely and taking up the other ones work will leave you exhausted at the end so alternating between children is a simpler option.

Quiet play: If you can get a baby-sitter for your younger child who is not yet in school, thats ideal. When thats not possible, teach her to quietly play alone during the homework hour of the older one. Blocks, puzzles and books are great options for a younger child. Keep rotating activities since bedroom sets in fast in pre-schoolers.

Exclusive hours: There may be times when one child needs a lot of extra help in a particular subject. Or the child may find it highly distracting to work with other children around. Keep exclusive hours to tackle such cases. If this saps your energy during weekdays, set an hour aside during weekends to help the child. Or turn it over to your spouse.

You could also consider tuitions for subjects which you may not be very good at, especially if one child is older and you are unable to cope.

– Anitha Bennett

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