Yikes Homework!

With the school year underway, you’ve probably heard the dreaded word “homework.”  Homework doesn’t have to be drudgery.  Here are some tips to make homework more manageable.

  • Children should have a designated place to do their homework.  Parents can help their kids set up a homework-friendly area.”  Make sure it is well-lit and keep needed supplies such as paper, pencils, glue, and scissors within reach.   A good dictionary and thesaurus should also be handy.
  • Set a designated time for homework to be done.  This should be a time after kids have had a chance to unwind and have a snack.  For some families, after dinner is a good time so that mom and dad can help with a tricky problem or answer questions their child may have.  However, make sure the kids are doing the learning, don’t do their homework for them.
  • Try to make sure there are no distractions like loud music or TV.
  • Be involved in your child’s homework.  Correct completed work, give praise and encouragement, and help your child with study and organizational skills.

These are just a few tips on how to make homework a time of learning and engaging.  Remember to stay in touch with your child’s teacher.  They are there to help.  Now get cracking on those books! 🙂

Practice makes Perfect!

The old saying “practice makes perfect” is true for reading as much as it is for anything else.  How do you get better at baseball or playing the piano?  You practice, practice, practice!  In order to become a better reader, you have to practice reading.  Children should be spending at least 15 minutes to one half hour every day reading a favorite book, magazine or the newspaper.  This is in addition to any required reading for school.  Younger children should be reading rhyming books such as Dr. Seuss. You can begin reading them to your child when they’re just a few months old.  As they begin to grow, they’ll probably be able to read the books to you.  Some of this will be from memory, some sight-reading, and some will be good old-fashioned sounding it out.  Rhyming books help to develop early language and memorization skills as well as building sight-word vocabulary.  These are necessary skills in order to become a better reader.

As your child becomes a better reader, he/she will also be better at comprehending what they’ve read.  They will move on to more challenging reading materials as well as being able to read and comprehend in the content areas.  Remember, practice makes perfect so read, read, then read some more!