Time For Kids.Com Homework Helper

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en españolLos diez mejores consejos sobre los deberes escolares

Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.

Of course, helping with homework shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!

Here are some tips to guide the way:

  1. Know the teachersand what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's teachers. Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.
  2. Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
  3. Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
  4. Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there's an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
  5. Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)
  6. Make sure kids do their own work. They won't learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it's a kid's job to do the learning.
  7. Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.
  8. Set a good example. Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Kids are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.
  9. Praise their work and efforts. Post an aced test or art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.
  10. If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about it with your child's teacher. Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others might need an evaluation for a learning problem or attention disorder.

These current events links provide a collection of news, events, highlights, and feature stories from around the world and in your neighborhood.

Time for Kids
This fun, interactive news site from TIME magazine categorizes current events articles and activities by grade level and includes games, trivia, and a homework helper.
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/
Weekly Reader Feature Zone
This site asks “What's New in the World?” every week and has materials and activities for students, parents, teachers, and families.
http://www.weeklyreader.com/featurezone/latest.asp
National Geographic Kids News
Kids News highlights news, features, and science articles on subjects of interest to kids. Sites for teachers and parents include lesson plans and teaching materials.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/kids/

More About It

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Federal Emergency Management Agency's FEMA for Kids
This visually appealing government site teaches kids how to be prepared for disasters and prevent disaster damage. The site also tells teachers and parents what to do to help children after a disaster. It is appropriate for all ages.
http://www.fema.gov/kids/
NASA (About Hurricanes)
This well-designed government site provides clear explanations of the science of hurricanes. It is appropriate for grades 4 and up.
http://kids.earth.nasa.gov/archive/hurricane/
National Association of School Psychologists
This website provides tips for helping children and youth cope after Katrina. The information can also be printed as a handout to share with others.
http://www.nasponline.org/NEAT/katrina_cope.html
National Hurricane Center
This National Weather Service site tracks current storms and includes sections on learning about hurricanes and hurricane history. It also includes Frequently Asked Questions.
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
NIEHS Kids' Pages
This is a kid-friendly explanation about the importance of cleaning up the Gulf Coast environment after Hurricane Katrina. It includes several helpful lists for emergency evacuation planning purposes, as well as a link to other hurricane-related sites and resources for kids. The site is appropriate for all ages.
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/katrina.htm
U.S. Geological Survey
This government site provides detailed explanations of hurricane science, complete with colorful maps, charts, and photos. The site is appropriate for grades 4 and up.
http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/hurricanes/katrina/

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