University of Illinois Extension

It's Homework Time Again

Carol Wilcoxen, Family Life Educator

Homework days will soon be here as kids head back to school. Getting off to a good start can go a long way toward a successful school year. Try these ideas for helping your grandchild succeed in school.

  • Set up a special homework area. A low-noise, clutter-free area with good lighting is best. If possible, include a desk or small table with chair to make writing easier. Supply the homework area with paper, pencils, pens, paperclips, calculator, dictionary and thesaurus.
  • Set a schedule for doing homework. Some children need a break after school before starting homework. Other children may prefer to get right on the homework after school. Also consider your grandchild's age. Younger children often need a break between long assignments. Use a timer to help eliminate arguments.
  • Help your grandchild get assignments home. Provide an assignment book and show your grandchild how to write down daily assignments and deadlines. Some schools have a phone directory where homework assignments are listed daily for each class.
  • Find resources that will make learning easier. Check with the school to see if a homework help-line is available. A computer is not always a must, but it is a great resource for homework. If you don't have a personal computer, check with your school to see if the computer lab is available for after-school use. Or, check for computer availability at your local public library. Some libraries even offer homework-help sessions.
  • If needed, contact the school to find someone who can tutor the child. Another option is to check with the local retired teachers association for assistance. Do not give up! Schools really do want children to succeed, and most teachers and staff members are more than willing to help you find the needed resources.