How can I effectively help my child with homework?

Teachers give homework to reinforce and practice what the student is learning in school. Homework expectations vary depending on student’s age. Some time guidelines are:

• 20 to 30 minutes daily for lower elementary (kindergarten through second grade)

• 45 minutes daily for upper elementary (third grade through fifth grade)

• ½ hour per subject area (3 to 4 hours daily) for middle school (sixth though eighth grade)

• Know the teacher’s homework policies. Ask when homework is due. How often will your child have homework?

• Talk with your child’s teacher. Find out what they expect from you as the parent and from your child concerning homework. Discuss any concerns or problems your child may be having with homework with their teacher. When you and your child do not understand an assignment, attach a note asking the teacher for help.

• Make sure children do their own homework. Make suggestions and give direction to your child while they do homework, however do not do it for them. Look over the homework when your child is done. Make sure they have completed all parts of the homework assignment.

• Start each homework session by looking over everything that needs to be done. Ask, “Which parts do you need help with? Which parts can you do on your own?” Suggest that your child do the most difficult task first.

• Be available for questions while your child does their homework. Give direct and honest praise for effort as well as accomplishments.

• Set regular homework time that works for your child and family. Use this time to finish daily assignments and to tackle large projects one piece at a time.

• Remove distractions like the TV, telephone, or loud music.

• Pick a place for your child to do their homework. Pick a place with good lighting and any supplies they may need (paper, pencil, glue, scissors).

• Locate resources for extra help (e.g. a homework helpline).


U. S. Department of Education. (2005). Helping your child with homework. Retrieved from

Kids Health. (2017). Helping your gradeschooler with homework. Retrieved from

Empowering Parents. (2017). The homework battle: How to get your children to do homework. Pincus, Debbie). Retrieved from