Help With Homework: Homework Resources

help with homeworkWendie and I love when the kids finally go back to school, but not for how quiet the house becomes. It's the afterward that is so magical, when we can help with homework. When the bus drops them off at our front door at the end of the day, we can begin our ritual of doing schoolwork at the dining room table. 

It's our time to connect on a level that not only helps me share my love of learning with them, but a great way for them to share what excites them about school. Of course, it didn't start out as fun time. But, we found out early on that completing homework does not need to be a power struggle and can instead be an opportunity for growth. 

Many times, it came down to finding the right approach to motivate the kids, having reliable homework resources and being organized. Here are a few lessons we've learned over the years.

Start off the School Year Right 

help with homeworkWe communicate with teachers at every open house, orientation, and PTO meeting we can attend to ask questions about future assignments, due dates, and any special expectations the teacher might have. Not only that, but asking what we can do to help.

'If there is a paper coming up on famous women scientists, would a visit to the science museum be useful? Will the section on 18th century history have outside reading expectations, and do you have recommendations?' Knowing what the curriculum is upfront, and how best to augment the lessons, helps us plan how best to help with homework with our girls at home.

Help with Homework: Work With Them

Once we get home and the afternoon chores are done, we all gather at the dining room table to help with homework. Instead of twiddling our thumbs and waiting for them to ask a question, Wendioe and I use the time to write, pay bills, or something else work related. The girls feel empowered, sharing the experience of working at the table on something they recognize as important - their homework. And, of course, we're right there for any questions.

Be Like Socrates 

help with homework
When the girls want us to provide a quick answer, such as 'Why do birds fly south for the winter,' we ask them questions designed to lead to the solution. 'What is the weather like here in December? Why don't birds like snowstorms?' 

This builds the lesson into a conversation, and shows a practical application for the information they are learning. If they understand it, they can use it- and that is the true purpose of school work.

Useful Homework Resources

We realize we don't have the answers to everything, so we have a toolkit of free, online homework resources sites to help us succeed. Our favorites are PBS Kids, National Geographic Kids, and Kahn Academy. Each of these sites helps with fun learning activities to boost the girls' understanding of topics ranging from lion pride migration to algebraic computation.

Remember, this won't happen overnight. The key is remembering kids want to succeed and appreciate help with homework, and when you stick to your program as a parent, you can enjoy watching them bloom with a love of learning.

We love sharing our off the grid homesteading adventure with you all, and look forward to hearing your help with homework tips and homework resources. Also, don't forget to subscribe!