Need Advice on Helping Your Grandchildren with Homework?


Supporting your grandchildren with homework seems impossible? Not anymore! 

In most cases, when grandchildren and grandparents meet, there is always fun and games. They go out for walks, watch cartoons, have family dinners, or play board games. Of course, nobody is thinking about homework! This isn’t a fun activity. However, sometimes grandchildren are left with their grandparents after school, and they may need to help out the juniors.

What happens when you no longer know the math formulas or you simply can’t remember the grammar rules? There is no shame in this; after all, it’s been quite a few years since you’ve been in school.

But this article is for you, all those grandparents who are supporting your grandchildren with homework, and don’t know how to manage the situation without being too severe or too demanding. From us to you: homework can still be light and fun and, most importantly, stress-free.

Supporting your grandchildren with homework
Photo by Halfpoint from Shutterstock

Let the kids make mistakes

When you’re supporting your grandchildren with homework, try not to yell at them if or when they make mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and especially when you’re new to a certain topic, mistakes are inevitable.

Before you step in, let them try to figure out the solution on their own. Let them realize that it’s possible to learn from their own mistakes. Encourage them to give it another go, show them you believe in them, and assist them in gaining more confidence in their skills. Offer assistance if they are unable to solve the issue on their own.

Visual timers can be your friends

A lot of kids, especially when they’re in the first grade, tend to ignore the sense of time. Simple chores seem overwhelming to them, so they postpone starting because they think they will take an eternity. That’s because they don’t have the notion of time. Discuss ways to make the activity more enjoyable and, more crucially, consider setting a timer.

Tell your grandchild that you expect them to finish the homework before the timer goes off. This may take a while, but continue to do that every day until they understand. You can also try to divide the work into smaller, more manageable portions if you anticipate that it may take a long time.

When you’re not helping with homework and you’re doing something together in the kitchen, for example, set a timer as well. Think about turning it into a race to see who can finish first: the clock or your grandchild? They might be even more determined to prove they can do better. And that’s great! Make them feel important and useful.

Are your grandchildren in preschool, and do you want to do something fun with them when they come over? We got you! This Learn-to-Write workbook for ages 3 to 5 will help them get the idea of homework without actually being homework. It has so many engaging pencil-on-paper activities that they won’t have a minute to get bored. 

Don’t forget to take breaks!

Short breaks are allowed; ask your grandchild to walk around for a little while in between chores and return to complete the following section. Think of doing some jumping jacks or stretches; you could even hop, skip, or jump around the room. Whatever helps them disconnect from homework.

Take longer breaks outside if you can. Play a game or go for a stroll. Studies demonstrate that children’s concentration and conduct are improved when they engage in regular physical activity and spend time outside. Children who have just finished physical activity are better able to concentrate.

Keep some delicious snacks on hand, including ones that may be considered treats as well as healthier options. Remember that hungry children are unable to focus!

Let the kids teach you stuff

While you’re the one who is trying to help them with their homework, you can still learn something new from the kids. And this is the perfect opportunity to let them show you what they’re best at! Let them show you what they have learned and how they complete their assignments.

Your grandchild can teach you new stuff and boost your confidence in their abilities, which will help them remember it better. Things have changed a lot since you finished school, so it might be a great way to introduce you to new stuff.

Let them know that you are always available to help them; therefore, they should never hesitate to ask for it if they need it.

Supporting your grandchildren with homework
Photo by Studio Romantic from Shutterstock

Make the homework enjoyable and surprising

Whenever your grandchildren finish their homework before time runs out, make them feel appreciated. You can even make something fun, like blow a whistle or a horn, or even yell their name and say, “Homework is done, yoohoo!”

After adolescents finish their schoolwork, you may make the moment more enjoyable by allowing them to watch TV or use screens. If your grandchild loves music, consider playing their favorite instrumental tunes to boost their concentration.

If the kid is way smaller, like in the first grade, let them play with their toys for half an hour before starting the other half of homework.

Connect with your grandchildren

Depending on how old your grandchildren are, they may not need any help regarding homework. Teens frequently want to finish their schoolwork as soon as possible, so they may use their phones or spend time in their rooms. Please leave it to their professors to fix their work; don’t worry about it. As they begin the task, gently assist them.

Regardless of what they do or how many errors they make, provide them with love and affirmation. Particularly teenagers might become irritated when they make errors; when this occurs, try to be encouraging and empathetic.

At the end of the homework, try to connect with them. Reach out and come up with ideas for various fun activities that you can do together. No matter how old or young the kids are, they will appreciate having supportive and fun grandparents they can brag about!

Support their independence

Your choice of words and tone might influence how you and your grandkid see the assignments. Strive to speak in a positive, nonjudgmental manner.

Try a new approach and say, “We have about two hours to do homework, play, and eat,” instead of, “Time to do your homework now.” It seems that the task will take you one hour to complete. How would you like your schedule to be set up?

Instead of being a bit bossy and saying “Can I show you how to do this?” try a different approach and ask if they need help or “I actually know this! Let me know if you get stuck and you need my help with it.

As opposed to “That’s not the right answer, do it again!” reply “Want me to tell you how you got that answer?” Say “Want to show me your work solving that problem?” if it’s math-related.

Last but not least never try to guilt trip the kids by bringing up the parents into discussion. Avoid saying “Your mom or your dad will be disappointed if you don’t finish by the time they come to pick you.” Make an effort to say, “You are working hard my dear! Do as much as you can, and when you’re tired we can take a break and do something fun.”

How do you manage the situation when your grandkid is asking for help doing the homework? Tell us in the comments.

Interested in more grandparenting advice? Check out 6 Things You Do That Hurt Your Grandchildren the Most.

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