How Do You Help Your Child Finish Homework?

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“In Ms. Salwa’s handbag, there are five hundred riyals. She buys some household necessities for two hundred and seventy, shoes for Karim for ninety riyals and a hat for her sister for thirty. How much money is left in Ms. Salwa’s handbag?”

… by this time, your child is falling asleep on top of their homework, and you are trembling with frustration because they haven’t solved the arithmetic problem.

As for Ms. Salwa, she emerges from the arithmetic book to transform into “Public Enemy Number One” for the entire family.

It is every mother’s daily nightmare when her children get home from school: how can she get them to finish their homework without falling asleep, pretending to be sick or bursting into tears?

Here are a few tips that may help you face this dilemma:

  • Choose the appropriate time to begin studying. Ideally, this will follow an after-lunch nap of at least an hour, which will give your child a place to rest up from the pressure of the long school day.
  • Don’t emphasize every type of review or exercise; that requires a great deal of energy, and your child, like you, is tired after a long and difficult day of studying.
  • Stay nearby—but not to give explanations. Help your child understand that it is their task and that you will be “on call” if they need to memorise lessons, or to solve a problem they do not understand.
  • Know that finding the right distance between you while they do their homework is necessary because it reflects your satisfaction with their competence and your confidence in their ability to finish their homework
  • Don’t hesitate to seek out the reasons for their laziness, and speak to the teacher of the subject they’re avoiding to address the problem and weak areas.
  • Finally, it’s best not to turn this study period into something that feels like house arrest. Let your child leave their seat from time to time, and give them space to drink a glass of juice or eat a piece of fruit, diluting the “bitter taste” of homework.

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