Parents’ roles may change as homework assignments get more challenging

Help! This homework is really difficult!Middle- and high-school students do better when parents stay involved, says University of Wisconsin-Extension

Contact Anne Clarkson, anne.clarkson@ces.uwex.edu, 608-206-6317 or Pattie Carroll, pattie.carroll@ces.uwex.edu, 920-386-3790

Sitting down to help your child with homework is a routine for many parents. But when your child reaches middle school and beyond, homework assignments can become more challenging.

Even though you might not be able to help your tween or teen actually do their homework, you can still provide support, according to Anne Clarkson, University of Wisconsin-Extension digital parenting education specialist.

Clarkson offers some tips for parents.

–“First, agree on a time and place for homework,” she says. “Help your student get organized with a place to study that is quiet with a space to work. Assist your teen in thinking about his or her long-term schedule since middle school assignments often need to be managed over days or weeks.”

–Take advantage of online resources. Set up an online calendar or planner to help your teen map out progress and deadlines. Or help your teen search an online learning community or blog centered on a specific subject.

–Clarkson says parents should consider themselves one of their child’s teachers. “While you may not be able to offer assistance with a math equation, you can provide encouragement, praise your student’s hard work and help them think of specific questions to ask the teacher,” she says.

Regular encouragement and discussions about school and education promote students’ college or training aspirations. “Middle and high school students do better when their parents are involved in their school life,” says Clarkson. “Parents’ high expectations can also improve teen success.”

Parents of teens and tweens can find more information about parenting in the digital age on UW-Extension’s eParenting® website.

To learn more, contact your local county UW-Extension office.

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