Being involved with your child’s education is important. As a father, helping and encouraging children with their homework shows that you care about their academic success and can help build a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. So how do you get involved in helping with homework? How much time do you spend with your child on their homework?
Homework can look different depending on the age and development of each child. For very young children, homework may involve simply reading a book together. As children get older, homework assignments will become more challenging. Here are some helpful resources for learning more about helping with homework.
Tips & Best Practices
- Parents who provide help with homework has been shown to be a determining factor in a child's educational success. This article provides 10 ways to help kids with homework. Additionally, the following resources listed aim at helping children with various homework needs depending on their age.
- Prepare very young children for homework by reading to them. For very young children not yet in school, research has shown that children who are read to grow up to enjoy reading and tend to do better in school and have more opportunities as adults! This tip sheet provides strategies for dads to read to children to help them become lifelong learners.
- Help elementary and middle school children with homework. This resource from the U.S. Department of Education helps answer questions often asked about homework by children in elementary and middle school. The resource also includes practical ideas for helping children to complete homework assignments successfully.
- Help children with homework in math and science. National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), in partnership with the National Education Association, offers newly updated Family Guides. These guides provide parents and caretakers with valuable tips for helping their child succeed in math, science, and reading skills.
- Help children who are reluctant to doing homework. Parents can create a nightly homework ritual to help children who will not do their homework. This article provides strategies and tips for turning homework time into a ritual that is routine for children.
Benjamin Franklin famously stated that the only two certainties in life are “death and taxes.”
Let us add “homework” to Franklin’s list.
Nearly everybody – child or adult, man or woman – has dealt with the challenges and responsibilities of homework during their lives. Schoolwork does not stop at the final bell, and the work completed at home often reinforces skills and drives achievement. Research shows that time spent on homework, especially in grades 7-12, can have a tremendous impact on student outcomes.
Why is homework important?
Research shows that the average student who did homework scored higher on tests than the students not doing homework. But beyond the academic benefits, homework provides an opportunity for parents to interact with and understand the content their children are learning so they can provide another means of academic support for students.
How much time should my child spend on homework?
The National Education Association recommends that elementary school students receive 10-20 minutes of homework per night in first grade. That figure should grow by 10 minutes per year.
What if I do not know the answer?
You’re not alone! According to a 2013 Education Week article, about half of parents struggle with helping their children with homework, and many of those parents struggle because they themselves don't understand the subject material. It’s okay if you do not know the answer! Here are some tips to help your children with their homework, if you're struggling with the assignment yourself.
Should children do homework as soon as they get home?
There are three time periods during which kids can do their homework: immediately after school, before dinner, or after dinner. Let your child help choose the time. Some kids really need to let off steam when they get home, while others will be too tired if they wait. Figure out a time that works for your child and your family, and then stick with it.