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Helping with homework

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Updated: 4/18/2007 10:12 am
In public schools, regular homework generally begins by fifth or sixth grade, though short assignments may be given much earlier. Children under ten will usually need the most encouragement; you may have to help them get started, remind them of their study time, and check lessons after they're completed. Provide them with healthy snacks and a quiet place to work, but don't banish them to a deserted corner of the house. Let your child get started, and wait until they ask for your help. Avoid the temptation to do the actual work; in the long run, this only hurts them. However, if your child repeatedly struggles with a subject, and simply can't finish it, consult his or her teacher. There may be an underlying problem that needs corrected, or they may require special help from a tutor. When looking over your child's work, be diplomatic. Remember that children will be even more sensitive to criticism from a parent, than from their teacher. With very young children, don't worry about misspelled words in the homework. It's usually better to overlook minor mistakes, focusing instead on their accomplishments. Later, as the complexity of their homework increases, you can gently point out corrections in spelling or grammar.
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