Supporting Our Children’s Learning

homework tips As a parent, do you sometimes feel pressure for your kids to succeed? Do you wonder what it will take for them to achieve at school and in life? As a mom of three (one who is only five short years away from college) I hope that we’re doing all we can to support their learning but there are always things I know we should be doing that never seem to fit into life’s schedule.

I’m a big believer in trusting yourself and forging your own style as a parent. As we raise our kiddos, we also need to be attuned enough to know when to reach out for help and to seek additional tools and support. We need to adapt to each child as an individual and be able to lift them up when they struggle and to enhance and enrich their experiences in areas where they excel. It’s an ongoing, continual process, one that’s important for school learning and life learning.

There are so many demands on our time, so many places to be to allow our kids the opportunities to experience various extracurricular activities, that even though we know we should be spending extra time reading or helping our kids with a certain skill, in reality, it sometimes (or often) doesn’t happen.

I try to practice guilt-free parenting. I believe we are honestly trying to do our best, we are working to bolster our kids, to provide for them and we are juggling a lot in our daily lives. Let’s forgive ourselves the things we don’t get to today.  It’s helpful to prioritize the things you want to do better at, then start fresh tomorrow with one action toward that goal.

How do you envision yourself supporting your children’s educational needs? What habits would you like to develop in your home to improve school and learning success? Can you put some systems in place that lighten your load as a parent, things that help the whole family know what to expect?

Begin tomorrow with a small step. For example, if you’d like to be more organized with homework time, start there, set up a homework area with everything a kid needs to complete their work. We have a “homework spot,” where we keep a container with sharpened pencils, scissors, a glue stick and ruler so there is no need to hunt when they sit to work and ideally this minimizes interruptions once they get going. Nothing fancy, but just having the tools they may need available helps keep them on task.

help for homework

Having all the tools available helps keep them seated!

Since we also have two children who do much of their school work on a computer, we have that set up in our kitchen homework area, too, so that I can oversee any computer time, answer questions and stop to take a peek all while I start cutting vegetables for dinner.  Of course, this organized scene only plays out occasionally! Many other days, the kids settle in to homework between rehearsals, piano lessons, tennis, swimming … or they bring some work along to do while waiting at a sibling’s activity.

I keep trying, and try not to stress over those well-intentioned flash cards and the carefully selected workbooks that often go unused.  Hopefully the times we do that extra skill-builder helps, but I still keep trying, I’ve moved the flash cards bedside to try to work on basic math facts along with bedtime reading. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m recognizing that my little one needs some old-fashioned, rote drilling of math facts so that’s when I have to step up my effort to help her along.

In Guilt-Free Parenting, work to remove the negative feelings but let’s not excuse ourselves from still striving to do better. It’s important to look for ideas, tools, support and resources to help us best guide our children. The responsibility rests with us. Even with limited time or financial resources, we can make an amazing difference in our children’s learning and school success.

I’d love to hear how you help your children learn and support them in their school success!

Resources I love:

Discovery Education

Kahn Academy

Infoplease Homework Help

Bedtime Math

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