***” And before you realize it, you spend the next 20 minutes answering all your child’s homework questions.


Whether it’s capitals of the countries in Europe or the times tables, homework often means finding and learning facts. Encourage your child to find information and learn facts on his own. Here are some tips.

First, make a rule that your child has to try all the homework questions by himself. He should start with the questions he knows, skipping over any that give him problems. Then have him go back and think about the questions he couldn’t answer the first time around.

Then, and only then, should your child ask you for help. And when he does, you should try to keep in mind your goal. You don’t just want your child to get the right answer. You want him to learn how to get the right answer by himself.

Suppose your child asks you to spell Illinois. Instead of rattling off the spelling, you might say, “Where could you find that?” Then get out the dictionary or a map and have your child find it. This way, your child not only learns about the silent s at the end of the word, he also learns how to use a dictionary and a map. That’s the way to help your child learn facts now and be prepared to learn other facts in the future.

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