Educational Survey Findings
Asking for homework support can make all the difference
A new school year is fast approaching and, once again, homework will become a nightly activity. However, according to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid for Kumon Math and Reading Centres, if parents take the time now to teach their child to proactively ask for homework support, it can help them improve academic performance and enjoy a more rewarding homework experience.
According to responses from more than 1,200 Canadian parents, more than half of the children who actively engage their parents in homework support perform at an average to above average level at school.
Also, children who engage their parents in the homework process enjoy more dynamic support. From monitoring homework progress (75 percent) to discussing the assignment (75 percent), these children are turning a once tedious and stressful task into an interactive, two-way dialogue about learning, creating a more rewarding and enriching homework experience.
“Students who ask for homework assistance demonstrate ownership of their work, and an interest in succeeding”, says Dr. Donna McGhie-Richmond, education specialist for Kumon Math and Reading Centres.“ The converse is also true. Children who are struggling or feel that they aren’t succeeding may stop trying altogether. Successful homework completion will help a child do better in school, and can instill greater confidence and promote good, independent study habits.”
Parents can help by demonstrating an interest in their child’s homework, and offering support, not by completing assignments, for their child. Here are some key tips from the Kanata North Kumon Math and Reading Centre:
- Know the school’s homework policy. Ask about the kinds of assignments students are expected to complete, the anticipated length of time it takes to complete assignments, and the expectations for parent involvement.
- Establish a routine for homework completion. This means determining a regular time each day in a distraction-free environment with all of the tools and resources at hand, such as pens, pencils, paper, ruler, scissors, and a dictionary.
- Reinforce good study habits at home. Help your child to structure his or her time before assignments are due. Discuss the steps that are required and map it out with respect to the amount of time it will take to complete the assignment.
- Be available to provide support to your child. If you are not available, ensure that someone is available and follow up with your child by asking about his or her homework.
- Enroll your child in a program that motivates independent study and instills focus, time management and confidence, like the Kumon Math and Reading Program.
- Coach your child. Rather than telling him or her to do, provide guidance 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, provide some assistance. Have him or her choose a question that they know how to do. Do the first question, fill in the first blank or read 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.
Check your child’s completed assignment for completeness before it is submitted, as well as for the kind of feedback provided by the teacher once the homework has been returned. Talk to your child about his or her satisfaction with the results and what he or she might do differently next time.
For more information on the Kumon Math and Reading Program, please call (613) 261-1650, or visit us online at http://www.kumon.com/.