The dreaded homework wars can look different in every house. See if any of these common scenarios sound familiar and then picture the peace descending on your house when you call in an expert.
Your child decides studying isn’t worth it because his efforts don’t result in improved grades. Nothing breeds self-confidence like success in school. So many times kids study really, really hard, but the results don’t show it, even when you’re helping them with smart study strategies.
Your child asks for help and you can’t give it. Things have changed in today’s classroom, and many times kids are either learning different things, or learning them differently than you did. (Think Common Core.) In fact, 50 percent of parents say they can’t help with homework. Sitting there scratching your own head isn’t helping your child, and might even reinforce that the homework is, indeed, “too hard.”
Your child doesn’t appreciate your help. I like to think I am pretty darn good at many subjects, that I am “smarter than a fifth grader,” as they say. But guess what? My kids don’t like to hear how smart I am. I might be a whiz at editing their papers or giving suggestions for adding content, but my feedback falls on deaf ears. I mean, really, what do parents know? (Insert eye roll.)
Your child is all too happy to let you do the work. The other side of the coin is that sometimes we, as parents, have trouble watching our kids puzzle through the solution when we already know it. We help with one problem for practice, then it becomes two, then before we know it, we’re breezing through the homework ourselves!
But here’s the secret to solving every one of these problems: Working with a tutor.
They also are trained to look at subjects in a variety of ways, so that if one explanation isn’t working they can try another way to explain the solution.
And here’s the other little secret: it’s all in the timing. Most parents wait until a bad report card comes home to seek guidance from a tutor. But you’ll see the signs long before a report card is issued and the earlier you get help, the better. You don’t want your child to get so frustrated that he gets turned off a subject that he may be really great at with the right help.
Starting to work with a tutor anytime your child is feeling unsure is the way to boost their grades and their confidence.