By Mariel Uyquiengco
Homework is an inevitable part of a student’s life. With the long hours children spend in school plus the traffic that they face daily, parents are worried about how their kids can cope with their assignments. Some parents hire tutors, but you can also take on the responsibility of helping their child tackle homework. Here are some tips from real parents on home tutoring your child.
Study What Your Child Is Studying
Education methods and curricula change over time. How you were educated “in the good old days” is undoubtedly different from how your kids are now being educated. Stay-at-home mom Maricel Evangelista, advises parents to study the current education system and the curriculum of their children’s school. It is best to keep yourself up to date in education trends to help you in home tutoring your child.
Lawyer Joy Segocio, mom to a six-year old boy, thinks that the key to helping your own child with homework is “old-fashioned patience.” Though she admits that it sounds like a cliché, giving your child the time and space to process and learn a piece of information in his own way will go a long way. Parents might get exasperated when their child doesn’t seem to “get it,” but a big dose of patience is definitely beneficial for both parties. Let go of the idea that your child’s learning performance is a reflection of you as a mother, and instead embrace your child’s individuality.
Let Them Study By Themselves
Similarly, mom Geraldine Oliveria lets her daughters, ages 9 and 6, to study by themselves first. She learned to step back and not hover when they’re doing their homework. She just helps when she’s called. From her kids’ early years in school, she realized that stressing over homework just puts on pressure and takes the fun out of learning. Furthermore, she believes that getting a perfect score is not the end-all and be-all of studying.
Let Them Devise Their Own Study Methods
Mom Geraldine’s daughters make their own reviewers during exam periods in any form that makes sense to them, such as drawing with their favorite colored pencils or crayons. In her “hands-off” approach, Geraldine does not make or download sample tests or exercises. Her daughters “teach” her the concepts that they are studying, instead of having a question-and-answer session with them. She’s proud to say that their relaxed method works for them and results in very good grades.
Make It Fun
Freelance multimedia designer Oliver Tan handles his fifth-grader’s homework. He devises games that would work with a specific homework. He shares that it usually works with Math, English, and Science subjects. Setting up a reward system also works for the father-son duo. As his son likes gummy bears, Dad Oliver doles out one gummy bear for every five correct answers when reviewing for exams.
Similarly, mom of two Maricel makes it a point to prepare some fun materials related to what her kids are studying. Giving and showing real life examples will also make concepts more concrete and easier to grasp. This makes sure that connections between ideas are made and that a topic usually thought of as boring is given life.
Take Breaks Together
It’s not healthy to study for long, uninterrupted periods of time. At the start of a study session, set a goal to accomplish in order for you to take a break together. Dad Oliver and his son take snacks together and surf for jokes on YouTube.com to release tension. Taking breaks is an important part of the schedule when helping your child with homework. It is healthy and re-focuses the mind. Some other ideas for break time is to play a board or card game, go outside for some fresh air, bike around for a few minutes, or just put your feet up and chat about other things.
Home tutoring your child may seem daunting to most parents, especially those who work long hours and wish to just spend fun times with their kids. The culture of homework, however, is still in the majority of schools. While you can definitely outsource tutoring for your kids, it is still best to be involved in their education by helping your child with homework.
Mariel Uyquiengco hopes to inspire parents to be their children’s first and best teacher. She does this through her blog and online children’s book shop www.thelearningbasket.com and by giving parenting seminars about early childhood development, preschool homeschool, and raising children to be readers.