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By Carmen McWaters

How to help with homework.

So, it begins: the fussing, the constant hovering and the rebellion. Of course, homework is the topic. This can be a particularly stressful time for a child and a parent. Upcoming tests, projects, math problems and writing assignments all seem to fill a home. Parents are left with chaos and children who are just as frustrated. It happens all too often and becomes a dreaded time of day for both the adults and the children.

Here we have some solutions that may solve this dark time of day and save some sanity:

Set a time. Parents must set a specific time of day to devote to homework. The child's age will dictate how much homework a child has. For the youngest of children 30 minutes usually work. For older children it may take two or three hours. This can also be adjusted based on how fast a child works in general.

Be consistent. Make sure that everyone in your home knows the time when homework is done. If younger children are in the home as well, make this their downtime or outside time. But be consistent.

Give them a break. Children most likely will be more resistant if they get home from school and have to dive right into more school work. Allow children to have an hour break after they get home. They can come home and grab a snack, play outside or watch their favorite tv show. Once they have relaxed then they can start their homework.

Space. Designate a space for homework time and be consistent with it. Parents need to make sure it is a relatively quiet spot with minimal distractions, such as TV, computer or toys. Kitchen tables work well.

Don't hover. Children are responsible for their homework and should be held accountable. If a child asks for help on a particular question or has a problem, parents can then help. Otherwise, parents should keep a small distance from the children.

Know when there is a problem. If a parent is noticing that their child is having trouble with a particular subject then it may be possible that the child is not understanding. After, a parent has helped the child and the child still doesn't seem to be grasping the concept it may be time to find additional help. Parents should always communicate with the child's teacher. A teacher may have some helpful resources and useful tools. Also, the teacher may be willing to work one on one with the child.

Homework doesn't have to be a frustrating time for a family. It can be quite pleasant if the setting is right. It will take some time to get the whole process started. Parents may find that a time doesn't work for their family or a child may need to try a few places within the home to find the best spot that works for them. Hang in there and be diligent and the process with be worth it.

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