(English translation available after the Chinese article)
How Should Parents Be Involved in Their Children’s Homework?
It’s a new school year and some parents are breathing a sigh of relief because their children can go back to school instead of playing games and watching TV at home every day. Other parents will feel pressured because they have to deal with their children’s homework again and have to accompany and teach their children to do their homework. If the child is not attentive, and it takes a long time to do homework, both parents and children will feel the pain of doing homework. How should parents be involved in their children’s homework?
- Accompany and Encourage Children
Some schools have more intense courses and their children learn more advanced English vocabulary. Although some parents do not understand their children’s homework, they can also participate in other ways, that is, to accompany and encourage their children.
There’s research about a mother from a Middle Eastern country who moved to an English-speaking country. This mother was unable to teach her children to do homework because she did not know English and was not familiar with the English-speaking country. All she could do is sit next to her children and encourage them to discuss what they have learned in their mother tongue.
- Create a space suitable for doing homework
In Hong Kong, most home environments are cramped and may not be able to provide children with their own space to do homework. Perhaps they have to do their homework on the living room, coffee table or dining table.
Parents can help children set aside a block of time for doing their homework, such as one hour after dinner. And during this period of homework time, parents and other family members who live with them must cooperate by turning off the TV to give the children a peaceful environment so they can concentrate on doing homework. Parents can do some quiet activities by their side such as reading and when their children need help, they can come over and ask their parents at any time.
In addition to homework time, parents should also create other learning opportunities, such as parent-child reading, discussing daily affairs together, visiting museums, watching educational videos, etc.
- Align the learning with the child’s age
Parents needs to align the children’s learning according to their age by using different methods of involvement in their homework:
(A) Kindergarten Stage
Parents should show their children that learning is fun by chatting, reading and playing with them.
(B) Lower Primary School Stage
Parents help lower primary school children to establish good reading habits. The responsibility of parents is to ensure that their children have a healthy diet, adequate sleep and energy to cope with their homework.
(C) Upper Primary School Stage
Upper primary school children don’t like to listen to their parents’ instructions, so parents may hire tutors, neighbors, or children’s cousins to teach the children to do their homework or help with projects and reports.
- Let children do their own homework
Seeing the title of this section, do you think this is a given or known truth? In fact, many parents view their children as unable to complete their homework, or are procrastinating doing their homework. They also cannot bear to see their children are too tired from doing their homework thus cannot hold back but to step in to help.
In addition to academic learning, homework can also cultivate a child’s sense of responsibility, concentration and thinking. Children should complete their homework by themselves, so that they have the opportunity to practice, to know their own learning progress, and also know that they are responsible for themselves.
We hope that parents and children can enjoy the time to do homework together!
All the contents published in this article are personal opinions and do not represent the opinions and views of Little Monkey Hong Kong.
About the Author
Scarlett is a working mom with a 4-year-old son, who knows the challenges encountered by working parents. She would like to share some thoughts on parenthood that may serve as support and encouragement for moms and dads.