Note: This is the second part of a 4-part series for parents on homework help. Please see the blog post from yesterday (Homework Help for Parents-Part 1). Thanks again, Laurie!

Make sure to check out her website to learn more about her, her philosophy and Giggle Facts at Giggle Learn: Play Along the Way!

Homework Help for Parents – Part 2

by LAURIE LAURENDEAU, Owner of Giggle Learn Tutoring

Parents often ask me about how they can help their child struggle less with homework.  This is Part 2  in a 4-part series. The most common complaints I hear from parents about homework are the following:

  1. It takes my child too long to do homework.
  2. I never know if I should help her, or let her figure it out on her own.
  3. I want to show my child a different method than she was taught at school, especially in Math.
  4. It’s always a battle with my child to get it done.

I am addressing each of the above concerns in a 4-part series on homework help for parents.

Part 1 was “It takes my child too long to do it”.

Part 2:  I never know if I should help her, or let her figure it out on her own.

  • Be sure your child understands the directions for her homework. Getting off to a wrong start can be very frustrating for many children. For some children, answering the first few questions incorrectly can be enough of a mental block to shut down and not want to continue.
  • Once you think your child can begin on his own, let him do just that. Be sure to tell him that you will come back and check on him in a certain amount of time, such as 10 minutes. Many children need that emotional support; just knowing that Mom or Dad will be back to check on them is sometimes enough to make them relaxed enough to begin to tackle their homework on their own.
  • Tell him that if he gets stuck on a problem (ex. in Math) to circle it, and move on to the next question. Tell him you will help him with any circled questions when you check on him.
  • If your child seems to be circling every question, then it is time to step in. Ask him a few questions to assess how well he seems to understand the material. If he gives you a blank look, try your best to explain it to him.
  • Try not to simply give him the answer. I know this can sometimes be very tempting because you both may be frustrated, and you want to get the homework done. Remember that he will not learn anything from being given the answer. Give him enough information to get started, and support him along the way. Praise him when he is on the right track – he will need your kind words to boost his confidence!


Laurie Laurendeau is the owner of Giggle Learn Tutoring in Carmel, IN.

She has been teaching for over 20 years and is passionate about helping children succeed!

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Written by

Nerissa Bauer

I am a behavioral pediatrician, consultant, child advocate and blogger. I am a wife, mommy to 2 amazing children and 2 golden retrievers. Love cooking, travel, reading, tap and creating.