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How to Help with English Homework

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English, as a subject, can get a bit difficult at times. Hence, when you’re kids approach you and need help with English homework, don’t turn them away. Instead, you should listen to their problems and try to help them out.

I'm saving this for next time  Jonna needs help with English homework!

Here are a few simple ways to help with English homework:

Hear them out

Start by listening to the problems your kids are facing. Ask them what they’re struggling with, and how they tried to approach it. Don’t allow your kids to approach you with the question unless they have given it a couple of tries. It’s only when they attempt to answer the question that they can truly understand the problem.

Take mental notes as they explain the situation to you, and prepare yourself accordingly. Also, you need to remember that your kids might not always be able to explain their problems. So at times, you have to figure things out on your own. 

Read and understand the question or prompt

Understanding the prompt or question is part of the homework. It’s only when you realize what the question asks for that you can answer it correctly. Without reading the prompt thoroughly or understanding the question, you can’t produce a quality answer.

When your kids come to you with the problem, read the question or prompt first, and make an educated assumption as to what type of answer it wants. Once you’ve made your assumptions, you can then pass your suggestions to your kids, and tell them to proceed accordingly.

Go through the text

Understanding the question or prompt is easier said than done, especially for you, who is probably unaware of the context or the topic. Hence, to get an even better understanding of the question, you need to go through your kids’ English textbook.

Assuming you have a lot of priorities and can’t go through the entire topic or book at once, you should simply skim through the text. Keep an eye out for key phrases and words, or anything that can link that particular part of the text to the question. This is a more convenient solution than reading the entire chapter of a book. It’s easier to do so and saves you a lot of time.

Do you own research

When it comes to English homework, the book alone won’t do. This is especially common in the case of literature, where you need to have a good understanding of similes, metaphors, and other literary terms and their uses. In such cases, you might need to do a bit of research on your own.

The best way to seek some English help is by going online and Googling the prompt or question. If you want something a bit more professional you can always approach a student or even college lecturers or professors online. They usually offer their services across a variety of platforms and charge a small fee for their services.

If you want something free of charge, you can simply post your questions on an online forum (preferably one where they’re talking about English or literature) and wait for someone to get back to you.

Explain it to your children

You’ve gone through the question as well as the textbook. You even did your research. By now, you pretty much know what the question wants, and how to best proceed with it. Hence, it’s time you communicate this to your kids.

Don’t give them the whole answer, even if you know it. You’d want them to figure it out on their own. Instead, give them hints or some rough ideas regarding the question. Prepare a sample answer for them if you want. Make sure that they’ve understood the question before you start explaining the solution.

Check what they wrote

After your kids are done with their English homework, ask them to bring it to you so that you can have a quick look at what they wrote. Take your time while reading the finished work, and don’t just skim through. Since it’s English homework, be sure to check for grammatical errors. Also, make sure the sentence structures are okay and the punctuations are properly placed.

If you find their answers to be okay, that’s great. However, if you think there’s room for improvement, let them know. Make sure you’re judging their skills based on their age or level of education. It’s good to have expectations, but there’s a limit to that as well.

Next time your child will need help with English homework,  you’ll know exactly where to start!

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