Thursday, October 17, 2013

Homework Help: A Service to Parents and Families

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
Many school-linked afterschool programs spend about a third of their time and effort to help participants with their homework. While this is a service to the school, it is more importantly a service to parents and guardians. Past surveys have revealed that helping their kid with homework is one of the leading reasons that parents enroll their kids in afterschool programs. This is reinforced by a recent survey that found that 50% of parents and guardians struggle with their children's homework. Nearly 22% say they are too busy; 31% say their kids do not want their help; and 46% say they do not understand the material. For a full copy of the study, click hereTo read one parent's experience of homework, published in The Atlantic Monthly, click here

Homework help can be more than a study hall. It is an excellent time to teach study skills such as organizational skills, time management, how to prioritize, etc. And the use of young homework helpers, college and high school aged youth, is very popular with afterschool participants. It is also helpful to have a credentialed teacher on board who can serve as a liaison with the school day teaching staff, offer strategies for children with learning difficulties, and help identify youth who need tutoring support, which is different than homework help. For more information, click here. For a complete literature review regarding homework help in afterschool programs, click here

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