Benjamin Franklin famously stated that the only two certainties in life are “death and taxes.”

Let us add “homework” to Franklin’s list.

Nearly everybody – child or adult, man or woman – has dealt with the challenges and responsibilities of homework during their lives. Schoolwork does not stop at the final bell, and the work completed at home often reinforces skills and drives achievement. Research shows that time spent on homework, especially in grades 7-12, can have a tremendous impact on student outcomes.[1] Parents should work to make sure their children have the time, space, motivation, and resources to successfully complete at-home assignments. These can be challenges for some families, but the planning and effort will be worth it in the end.

The thought of homework may still make some adults cringe, but remember there is a purpose behind homework! Homework is not intended to simply create stress. Most of the time, teachers assign homework to reinforce a skill that they taught that day or during the week. By completing homework, students gain valuable practice that is not possible given the time constraints of a school day. Other times, teachers use assignments to introduce a new concept. Finally, homework helps build healthy work habits for kids. They learn responsibility and accountability, valuable traits when they transition to adulthood.

While helping your child succeed is an ongoing process, there are four actions you can take immediately:

  1. Know your child’s responsibilities

Talk to your kid about their day at school and what they learned. Repeating this information to you helps them remember facts. Consider specific questions like “What did you talk about in math today?” or “What are you studying in history this week.” Ask to see their current assignments and returned work. Make sure that their homework is completed thoroughly and neatly. Not sure about the specifics of the assignment (or how to know if their math or Spanish work is correct)? Ask! When students feel accountable towards their parents, they are most likely to succeed in the classroom.

  1. Use the teacher as a resource

Communicating with your child’s teacher can help both you and your child. Understand the teacher’s homework policy: do they give homework every night? Every week? Ask what else you can do with your child to reinforce skills (flashcards, games, reading, etc.). Most importantly, talk to the teacher if you would like some resources about the learning material. Many schools also have a parent liaison that can help you connect with resources and, if you have more than one child at the school, coordinate information from multiple teachers.

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Blog submitted by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

Posted by Fathers Incorporated

Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Established in 2004, FI has a unique seat at the national table, working with leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Law, and the Responsible Fatherhood Movement. FI works collaboratively with organizations around the country to identify and advocate for social and legislative changes that lead to healthy father involvement with children, regardless of the father’s marital or economic status, or geographic location. From employment and incarceration issues, to child support and domestic violence, FI addresses long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live.

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