Getting It Done Without Tears & Strife
Many countries celebrated Father’s Day a couple of weeks ago; male parenting was applauded and all the nice things fathers do were given recognition. For much of the year, however, children spend more time lamenting the embarrassing things that both their mothers and fathers do than embracing parental quirks.
In a recent Washington Post article, Donna Scaramastra Gorman, a tbjkids contributing writer, bemoans the type of father she had growing up – the extremely intelligent, overly helpful kind.
When asked for the answer to a simple math equation, her engineer father would pull out his physics textbooks to explain the complex science behind her seemingly straightforward question.
Math was never my raison d’ être – memorizing multiplication tables in Grade 4 was my mathematical peak – and I can sympathize the predicament described in the article. As my parents patiently explained the reasons behind any given problem, I only grew more and more frustrated. Now I watch as my youngest brother gives my mother uncalled for attitude (although I’m sure he thinks it’s entirely justified) while she attempts to help him with his homework.
As ungrateful as kids can be, few deny that they need a certain amount of help and encouragement from their parents –especially, at least in my family, when it comes to anything mathematical that is more complicated than counting apples. Although summer holidays have begun, there are plenty of children attending summer courses and the following tips should prove invaluable year round.
The Kidsource website lays down a few rules of thumb for homeworkin’ parents. Firstly, setting a regular homework time and designating a specific work area is essential. Once students have established a routine surrounding homework, it becomes less of an ordeal and more of an accepted fixture. Parents can also help by removing distractions, limiting TV time and providing all the necessary supplies. Of course, showing interest in their homework is necessary – how you really feel about algebra or infinite plant species is of little consequence.
Although parents shouldn’t help with homework incessantly, in the event that you are called upon to delve into subjects that you haven’t studied for decades, knowing how your child learns will prevent hours of aggravation. Methods of learning are relevant for every single subject, from chemistry concoctions to literature compositions.
For many children – and even adults – absorbing information is facilitated if they can envision what it is they are learning about. Diagrams and drawings are a simple way to explicate more complicated problems. For oratory learners, having them or someone else recite information out loud is often the best bet. Helping physical learners takes a little extra work but is often the most fun. For example, Kidsource suggests cutting an apple into 8 pieces to explain fractions to the elementary school set. Who doesn’t love learning when food is involved?
Don’t forget that a certain amount of praise – many professionals argue that praising not the finished product but the process leading up to completion adds icing to the cake of scholarly success.
Study habits are best learnt young so the sooner a student can settle into their own routine and learn what works best for them, the less stress it is for the whole family.
And kids, remember that when your parents spend 2 hours trying to explain the answer to an assignment that your teacher clarifies in 2 minutes, they are only trying to help.