If I had a dollar for every time I am asked ‘how can I help my children improve their school work?’ I would be a very rich woman today. Now, if you are one of these parents or guardian, here is my advice; probably some of you will wonder why you never thought of the idea and method yourself.
Helping children improve their academic performance is actually one of the easiest things a parent/guardian can do. The first step is to set a time aside when you can sit with them for at least fifteen minutes any time before they settle down to do their homework.
First, set aside fifteen minutes before you start preparing the evening meal. Sit down with the children and ask to see whatever they wish to show you what they have done at school. If this is the first time, they may be a bit surprised and reticent about showing their books with the excuse that the teachers have collected them. Very calmly but firmly let them know that you expect to see them the following evening (just make sure that you do not forget). On the other hand they may comply with the request and bring their books out.
Show genuine interest in what they have done that day and ask them questions about their work. For example, if one of the lessons was Social Science which looked at the environment of a particular geographical area enquire where the place is located or how the population and industry is effected and so on. Let us say that the other child has had LOTE, look at the words and see if you can translate any of the words. Actually this becomes a bit of a game which always ends up in good humored laughter.
Whatever you do, please do not criticize if you see things that are not what you are expecting (there is nothing more demoralizing for a child or even teenagers, to have their work put down). If not too sure what has been written ask to have things explained, but no matter what do not show concern, or even worse, anger. If you see that some tasks have not been completed, ask if something happened to have caused the incompletion of the tasks and suggest that they can be finished off for homework.
After having gone through the books get the children to do their homework somewhere where you can see them while you prepare dinner. Never under any circumstances allow them to do their homework in their rooms. When this happens children who are not performing well at school, will only waste their time listening to music or using their mobiles or computers to chat to their friends. The best thing is for them to write by hand. Do not get into an argument, just stand firm.
A classic with children who are not too keen on school work is this famous line ‘We didn’t get any homework today’. If, this is the case then say that you will provide them with some. Take one of their books, choose at least two exercises you are not very impressed with and get them to re-do them. Very soon you will find that the homework will materialize as if by magic.
When a regular pattern is set, parents/guardians will find that children will respond in a positive way. This pattern must be maintained from Monday to Friday regularly If the parent/guardian is not available one evening then the other adult takes over. Continuity is the key to success.