1. Quality Over Quantity
It may seem obvious, but many do not fully realize that while pushing their child to get more and more pages and books done, the quality of the work drops.
A child can only retain so much knowledge in a short period (such as one week). At a certain point, you will overload your child's brain, and she will do the book but not remember the lessons. In this case, the booklet will need to be repeated before she can pass a test.
Another option to consider, as opposed to setting a time allotment for homework, is to assign a daily page amount.
- Complete 8 pages (page amount dependent upon difficulty of material / study level) instead of "work for 15 minutes."
- Observe how long it takes her to complete the 8 pages each time over the course of a few days.
- After observing set a new goal with your child to encourage her to complete more work in the same amount of time (if necessary).
2. Focus and Attention
Help a distracted child build focus by encouraging her to complete a single page without stopping.
- Once your child begins the first question on the page, she shouldn't look around, doodle, ask questions, etc.
- Your child should work straight through the page.
- After completing the page, she can take a very brief break, ask questions, and so on before repeating the process on the next page.
- If your child masters this, increase it to two pages.
- This can also benefit performance on tests where time-management is a concern.
3. Read Questions Together
For a child that cannot read or is in the midst of the learning-to-read process:
- When reading the directions or the questions to your child, have her follow along and point to each word as it is read.
- This can help her to gradually recognize the words and build her vocabulary.
- Soon, ask the child to read on her own with your help on new vocabulary or bigger words.
4. Read Carefully
It is important to read the directions. This will help to avoid careless mistakes. Even simple directions are often missed-such as circling a word when the directions say to underline. Reading directions carefully is an important habit for the future when assignments are more complex and exams are stricter.
- In word problems, students may tend to select the numbers without paying close attention to the context of the problem.
- This is not so problematic in an addition booklet, where it can be assumed the problem concerns addition.
- However, this will not help a student learn to identify the keywords that indicate operation and order.
- To build up your child's word problem abilities, have her underline or highlight the words in the problem that indicate which operation is necessary.
- Ensure your child reads the entire comprehension passage before trying to answer the questions.
- Have your child read the question and then look back at the passage.