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Helping your kids with their homework is part and parcel of being a parent. When they’re younger, you need to sit with them and go through it all. Then, as they get older, you can’t take such a hands-on approach anymore. A teenage child won’t want their parent sitting with them and trying to help them with their homework. They see it as embarrassing, this is something they need to do by themselves!
Similarly, they need to learn to be a bit more independent. So, how can you help your teen with their homework without being too hands on? As it happens, there are a few subtle things you can do that will assist them…
Buy them a homework planner
I love the idea of getting your kids practical presents. For one, it shows them that you care, and they’ll really appreciate you. Secondly, who doesn’t love getting gifts?! With this idea, you buy your teen a planner that they can use to be more organized. It lets them jot down any homework assignments, meaning they shouldn’t forget anything at all. They’ll also have a little book that shows them what needs to be done by when. So, it lets them prioritize which pieces they need to do over less important ones. Again, this brings more organization to their workload, ensuring they don’t miss deadlines and stay on top of everything.
Ensure they have a good internet connection
It seems silly, but you need to provide your kids with a good internet connection. Nowadays, pretty much all of their homework is done online. Even if it’s not submitted online, they still have to do lots of research to find answers and so on. As a result, you need the best possible internet service for your house. This ensures that the connection is fast, it doesn’t drop, and lots of devices can connect to it. Therefore, your teen will have no issues using the internet, and there will be fewer scenarios where they get angry and annoyed as pages aren’t loading or the connection is down. Anyone with a child knows that this is often the cause of many arguments in the home! So, if you can give them a good internet connection, then it’s one less thing holding them back from doing their work.
Give them a good place to study
Aside from a dodgy internet connection, one of the most frustrating things for teens is that the house isn’t a good place to work. There can be so much going on, particularly if they have younger siblings that pester them all the time. As a result, it’s hard to really settle down and get into a nice zone where they can concentrate. So, you can help them by giving them an excellent place to study. There are two options on my mind; convert a spare room/attic/basement/garage into a study, or set up a study area in their room. The first option is the best, but it’s also the most expensive and time-consuming. If you do go down this route, then you essentially create a place for them to work without interruptions – almost like they’re in a library or at school! With the second option, you can buy a nice desk and equipment for them to put in their bedroom. At the very least, this gives them a comfortable place to work with minimal disruptions .
Help them pay for study materials
As a parent of a teenager, you’ll quickly learn that the educational system is trying to bleed you dry of all your money. Textbooks and other study materials are quite frankly overpriced. So much so that your child probably can’t afford them on their own. As such, they’re at a disadvantage by not having access to the resources they need. Therefore, you can help them out by paying for some of the textbooks and other materials they need. It means they can use things that will assist them during their studies, so homework becomes much easier. Plus, as a bonus, you give them things that could help them go the extra mile and produce better assignments as well.
Try and make the house quieter while they work
Another subtle thing you can do to make a difference is making the house more peaceful when they’re working. This works in conjunction with the point about creating a study space for them. As I said before, your teen could have much younger siblings who are pretty hyperactive! So, family life in the home tends to be very manic and noisy. For an hour or so every day, you should work on making the house a quieter place to work. Take their siblings out to a park, bring them grocery shopping, or just entertain them in a room far away from your teenager. By giving your younger children the attention they need, it means they won’t bother your teen. As a result, they can work in a much more peaceful environment.
Encourage them to ask for help
While you don’t want to sit down with your child and watch them do all their homework, you can still be on-hand to help them. Here, you need to encourage them to ask for help whenever they need it. Make yourself available if they have any questions or queries about certain things. You should be someone they come to for help when they’re struggling to understand what’s being asked of them. In essence, you can still be a parent who helps your child do their homework, but you’re only there when they need you. This stops you from being too overbearing and looking over their shoulder every five minutes!
No matter how old your children get, they’ll always need your assistance. Especially when it comes to homework, and especially when they’re a teenager. Assignments will come in thick and fast, so you must do whatever it takes to help your teen without being too hands-on. These ideas all allow you to provide a helping hand without being too involved in their work!
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