Create a routine
The faster homework begins to occur on autopilot, the better. Achieve this by establishing a routine. Ann Dolin, former teacher and president of Education Connections Tutoring, recommends younger children start homework either right after school or after a half-hour break, as most kids need a bit of downtime before diving back into their studies. High school kids, she says, tend to start their work later in the evening. “I recommend they create a list of assignments before dinner,” Dolin says. “Having that visual lineup will help them get started.” Check out these secrets of straight-A students.
Don’t check homework for quality
While you’ll want to skim homework to make sure it’s complete, don’t get into a habit of checking for content or judging quality. “If your child needs to write a paragraph, you don’t need to check its grammar—let the teacher handle that,” says Dolin. “Otherwise, it creates a lot of power struggles when you get into discussions with your child about what’s ‘good enough.’ You want to be a parent, not the homework police.” Here are 12 grammatical mistakes even smart people make.
Know when (and how) to reach out to the teacher
If you notice your child struggling with a certain subject or aren’t sure his or her work is sufficient enough to make the grade, contact the teacher. “When I was a teacher, parents would always complain weeks later,” says Dolin. Try emailing or calling with your question. Start with something along the lines of: “I’ve noticed Jimmy is not writing out the steps when he does his math homework. Would you like him to do that, or is this OK?” Simply reaching out can get parent, teacher, and child on the same page. These are 33 things your child’s teacher is secretly thinking.