Getting the balance right in terms of helping children with homework can be a challenge.  In some cases parents take too much of a leading role and literally end up doing the homework themselves, while in others they leave their children to get on with it entirely alone.  If young students are to get maximum benefit from doing homework assignments, providing just the right amount of support and guidance is essential.

Aside from encouraging good study habits and helping children to get organized by setting a regular time for doing homework, ensuring that they have a suitable environment to work in and providing all the resources that they need, two of the most valuable things that parents can do are to understand the child’s learning style and to build associations between what the child already knows and what he or she is learning.

The main purpose of homework assignments is to reinforce or expand upon earlier learning or to prepare for future learning.  As they build on existing knowledge, try to encourage children to think for themselves and help them move forward by asking questions that make links and logical connections between what they have already learned and what they are trying to understand.  Depending on their personal learning style, draw diagrams or pictures, use props, tell stories or write things down using different wording to simplify things that they are struggling with.  Explaining things in an entirely different context can also be extremely useful.