A guest post by Paisley Hansen
Your kids need help with their homework, but you have very little time to help them. Perhaps even if you did, you wouldn’t really understand the subject matter anyway. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies you can pursue to not only make the time, but also secure outside help if it is needed. Here are some ideas for how you can help your kids with their homework when you have little time to spare.
Technology continues to change education by leaps and bounds every day, and it can be an indispensable tool for helping your child with their homework. Major sites and programs, such as YouTube and Skype, have educational components which offer a number of educational resources. If you travel for work, you can use programs like Skype to communicate with your child and help them with their homework remotely. There are also crowdsourcing options, such as Course Hero, which have 24/7 access to tutors and study resources to give kids the help they need.
Take Advantage of After School Programs
After School programs have been around for years to enrich children in the period between when schools let out and when their parents get home. These programs can help take care of two of the issues you likely face as a busy working parent: a place for your kids to go until you get off work, and a significant source of help for your kids academically. Most afterschool programs have tutors or other educational resources on-site to help kids with their homework, so they can get it done before they ever get home.
Set Aside Time
Even if you are particularly busy, you can hopefully set aside some time to help your children with their homework. Unfortunately, helping your kids with their homework is a difficult thing to do while doing something else, because it requires significant concentration to understand what is being asked in the assignment. However, you may find that occasionally stopping by to help while your child does her homework and you do something else works well for you. It is easiest to establish homework time as part of a daily routine in your house so you are sure to budget time for it.
Keep Up With Their Curriculum
If you just don’t have the time to figure out every assignment your child brings home, one thing that can help is if you keep up with their learning curriculum. This can save you significant amounts of time you would otherwise spend trying to figure out what your child is learning and what he or she has already learned. If you do not have a copy of the syllabus, you can contact your child’s teacher for it. You can also peruse his textbooks when you have some spare time to gather this information as well.
Don’t Do It For Them
Recent research has shown that high parental involvement in their children’s academic life either yields little return or can even backfire. The key is to put the child in command. It is far too easy for you, as a working parent, to take over the session, to the point of giving out answers just to get it over with faster. This is not helpful for your child because they will not learn the material. Have your child explain the assignment to you, and not the other way around. When correcting them, ask questions and steer them towards the correct answer rather than giving it to them. They will learn the material better that way.
If you can make time in your busy schedule to help your child with their homework, you should. It allows you to spend more time with your kids, help them get the most out of their education, teach them to value an education and will likely teach you a thing or two as well. Turn to outside tools and programs to help as well, and you should be able to come up with a system that works with your busy schedule.