While we as adults and school graduates may think we understand basic general knowledge, there are still many of us who feel slightly humbled when facing the questions on shows such as Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? It may be embarrassing being dumbfounded when asked about the homeland of walruses; however, the good news is that you don't need to be all-knowing when helping a grandchild with their homework. The trick to being efficient when helping with homework is not knowing the work but rather making it enjoyable. If you are able to maintain a sense of humor and have a thick skin you can soon become the "go-to" grandparent on problems with mathematics, English essays or Spanish translations.
It is easy to assume that your grandchild is less than eager to complete a pile of homework after returning home from an hour of soccer practice. Needless to say she would much rather be chatting with friends or watching television instead of making her way through volumes of dull material. Her parents, recently returned from work, may not be able to assist with these readings having some household duties to fulfill and may be agitated at being asked to help. It is certain they would be grateful for additional assistance in this area, but always be sure to ask before lending a hand.
To make homework enjoyable in tiring situations, it might be useful to turn the task into a game suggests James Goldsmith a UK educationalist who runs a tutoring business. For example, consider transforming an English task into a Jeopardy! game. In this case, your grandchild must provide the correct answer in the form of a question to win a small prize.
Another method to increase homework productivity is to introduce new learning techniques. For example, a grandchild studying for a test may waste time reading through material without creating any notes. It is often the case that this technique finds the child reviewing the same information continuously. Instead of wasting time, it may be useful to introduce flash cards with the material and divide them into piles: the facts that are known and the facts that are not known. To be more productive you can spend time studying the "unknown" flashcards and gradually the child will begin to learn new material while reinforcing the known material with the "known" flashcards. Here are some good tips for helping children with homework.
Even if you were not a very strong student when it came to math, it is still possible to assist your grandchildren with this subject. For young children it is possible to make counting a fun activity using resources like Goldfish crackers or grapes. You could discuss hypothetical math problems using subjects the child enjoys, such as ice creams. For example, you might say that Jane has $5 and wants to buy an ice cream cone costing $1. How much change will she receive if making this purchase? If she adds sprinkles for 50 cents what will the cost be and how much change will she get?
Of course, one of the best methods to reinforce learning is to have the child explain the task after you have explained it. This uses the game of "teacher" where he or she is sharing knowledge to you, the new student.
For the majority of grandparents, the greatest challenge is to understand how teaching skills have changed over the years. When feeling this anxiety, it is important to remember that you are a teaching assistant and help with homework instead of teaching your version.