Helping teens with homework
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Syndicated column from The Parent
[MAY 3, 2006]
My son is a freshman in high school.
I've always tried to be involved with his education in the past. But
now I don't have a lot of extra time, and frankly, I can't help him
with a lot of his homework anymore. And he says he doesn't want me
to come to school. I don't want to just quit being involved, but
it's getting to be more difficult. Do you have any suggestions?
Teenagers want to be independent. It's
common for them to discourage your school involvement. But, despite
what they do or say, they still need and want your attention and
your interest in their schoolwork. They count on you -- to be there
for them, to attend school events, to show that you care. The time
you spend with your teen now will help him do better in school today
-- and help make a real difference in his future.
Studies show that parent involvement
is just as important when kids reach high school. In fact, parent
involvement during these years can be even more important than it
was when your son was younger. The message you send when you
continue to be involved is huge. It lets your child know that you
think education is important!
Helping teens with challenging
homework is tough -- especially in those subjects that might not be
your strongest. But keep in mind that as your child grows older, you
need to get a little less involved with homework. Don't hover over
your son and rush in with an answer every time he's stuck. Unless
you're planning to follow your son to college or a job, he's going
to have to learn to do things for himself sooner or later!
help in other ways:
sure your son has a regular time and place for homework -- and
enforce it by turning off the television and not answering the
phone. Falling behind by even a day can be costly in high school.
quiet work of your own to do while he's studying. He'll sense your
support even if you can't help with specific subjects.
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Look at tests. When your child
brings home a graded test paper, sit down and discuss it. Talk
about what he got right -- and what he got wrong. Don't nag --
just ask your child why he answered as he did.
point to go to the school. It's never too late to introduce
yourself to your son's teachers. Let them know that you want to
know his guidance counselor. The counselor can keep you up-to-date
on your son's performance.
Get involved with some school
activity. Join the PTA or PTO, volunteer to sell tickets at a
game, bake for the chorus bake sale, or chaperon the spring dance.
Congratulations on your dedication
to your son's education! Neither parents nor teachers working alone
can do everything they need to do to help children learn. Your son
and his school still need you as an active partner. When parents and
teachers are on the same team, children win every time.
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright 2005, The Parent Institute
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.