Parents don’t need to know the answers to help with homework; just know the right questions to ask
Every student struggles sometimes with homework. Students with strong study skills know what to do when they hit a wall.
When your student has trouble with an assignment, here’s how you can help.
You don’t need to know anything about the subject or the assignment to teach the situation’s most critical lessons.
- Step One: Does your student seem agitated or stressed? Then the first step is an immediate break.
- Find out when they last ate. A snack often works wonders.
- What about fluids? Teens generally underestimate how much they need to drink. And the first bodily function that suffers when we need fluids is our brain power.
- How stressed is your teen? Will a short break help, or do they need a walk, a little basketball, soccer, etc. or some laughter? All Newport students either already have or shortly will learn this set of Stress Coping Skills (will put a link in to that SEL lesson with the coping skills). Pull them out and pick one.
- Step Two: Now that you’ve restored full brain function, ask a couple simple starter questions.
- What is the assignment, question, or problem?
- Repeat back for me what the teacher said today about the assignment.
- Is there a textbook or OneNote reference from the teacher? Let’s look there for a hint. Click here to learn more about how OneNote works to support students and teachers with lessons. (preparing this and will add a link)
These questions help your student’s brain locate what they know. Your brain takes in so much data that it sometimes can be hard to locate what you need. Stress, hunger, and thirst make it worse. These questions help your student’s brain reset and know where to look for the knowledge they have retained.
What comes next:
It might be that your student will spot what they need and your job as coach is done…for now.
You may not have known anything about the assignment, but you’ve just demonstrated several key problem-solving skills for your teen. After another episode or two, your teen will likely get this far into a reset on their own.
If today’s problem persists, click below for section two:
“What are the study habits that you can help your students practice when schoolwork gets tough?”