Committed Parenting: Try these tips to help with your child's homework

Armen Hareyan's picture

(NC) - A survey, conducted by Ipsos-Reid for Kumon Math and Reading Centres found that half (51 per cent) of Canadian parents spend less than 10 minutes a day helping their children with homework. If you are a parent in this situation, don't let guilt overcome you. A few small changes in your family's routine can ensure that your children get all the help they need.

Busy Parents, Organized Kids

How involved should parents be in their children's homework? "It's important for parents to consider that it's not necessarily the amount of time, but the quality of time they spend helping their children with assignments," says Dr. Donna McGhie-Richmond, Educational Specialist with Kumon ( "Making yourself available for homework help on a regular basis rather than intermittently is essential."

What Parents Can Do to Provide Homework Support

Dr. McGhie-Richmond has the following advice:

. Set up a homework routine with a regular time and a distraction-free environment.

. Make sure your child has all of the tools and resources at hand to complete his or her homework, such as pens, pencils, paper, ruler, scissors, and a dictionary.


. Once your child is organized and ready to begin, start coaching. Rather than telling him or her what to do, guide through the task with questions such as "What do you know how to do?" and "What do you need my help with?"

. If your child is having trouble getting started, try doing the first question, filling in the first blank or reading the first paragraph together. Ask if he or she can do the second one alone and reassure your child that you'll be available to help if there are any further stumbling blocks.

Dr. McGhie-Richmond says the amount of time a parent spends giving homework support depends on the individual child. "Ten minutes definitely isn't enough time for a child who's not organized, is struggling at school, has poor study habits, doesn't understand the assignment or doesn't know how to get started," she explains. "But it may be enough time for a child who is organized, understands the concept of the homework and has just one or two questions."


- News Canada

These are the findings of a Kumon/Ipsos-Reid survey that was conducted nationally in Canada among 1040 Canadians who have children 6 to 14 years of age that attend public schools and do not have learning disabilities or special education needs. The study was fielded from August 19-27th 2004. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within