Help for Helping with Homework

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Dads might have left their calculus problems and English papers behind, but now their kids must endure the same torture. From kindergarten to senior year, kids are given homework assignments, and they are going to need help, even if they don’t ask for it, during all those years.

So, how does a busy dad help his befuddled first grader with very simple worksheets? Patience is the answer. The “2+2” problems and subject-underlining might seem maddening to an adult brain, but to a seven-year-old, they seem impossible. A dad should sit down with his kid and slowly explain what he or she doesn’t understand and do a problem from the worksheet together. Of course, sometimes seven-year-olds are not exactly eager to complete their homework, so dads should add some fun by offering a cookie before dinner when they complete their math problems correctly or just offering a high-five or hug to reward their good work. That’s all it takes. In fifteen minutes or less, the first grader feels more confident, and the dad gets the satisfaction of truly helping his son or daughter.

During the middle school and high school years, the going gets a little tougher. Standards for what kids should know are continually raised so that an eighth grader might be learning concepts that his or her dad learned in tenth grade. If a calculus problem looks closer to Chinese than math, dads can visit the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s homework hotline at www.askrose.org; this service also offers science help. For combating English problems, the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) at owl.english.purdue.edu offers a range of aid and is a common resource for English teachers. These years are also the time when kids stop asking for help, and dads need to watch out for slipping grades. Offering help translates to a teen as criticism, so dads should be wary of forcing help or becoming angry when their teens quickly turn them down. A dad letting him or her know that he is always available if help is needed goes a long way, and dads might be surprised by how quickly their offer for help is taken.

Dads, don’t cringe with the thought of facing the horrors of homework once more. With today’s resources, even calculus can be conquered. Besides these resources, your arsenal should include a bit of time and a whole lot of patience, and just like the multiplication tables, practice makes perfect (or pretty close).  
 

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Convincing Kids to do Homework

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StudyBack when I was in school, I needed someone to push me to do the right thing. We were encouraged (told) to study the material and not blindly do homework problems. My parents always made sure we did more than what was expected. Some of their methods may not have been very forthcoming, but eventually we understood the need to work hard in school and do our homework. Some of those strategies can still be applied while others may not necessarily work that well today (like a willow switch).  Here are some approaches to getting your kids to tackle homework....

Why Mother's Day Matters To Dads

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Dad daughterWith Mother’s Day coming up I am sure most of you guys are making well thought out plans to get your wives a nice gift or trying to make the day memorable… or you’re just winging it like always. Here’s something unique you can give your spouse on her special day, and it’s a gift she will treasure and value for a lifetime.

Making time for your Kids

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Developing a strategy for becoming a better dad can sound like a big joke. To use the term “busy dad” in the current world is really an understatement. A lot of us dads have a difficult time trying to balance our professional or personal demands against spending valuable time with the wife and kids too. Just because your schedule is tight should not mean that you are destined to fail as a parent. 

Make it a New Year's Date

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GlassesToday it seems like 24 hours is just too short for one day - and forget getting your work done in just 8 hours. That does not include traffic; travel; shopping; taking care of the kids; mowing the yard; making meals; and taking out the trash. No matter how busy we get, there’s no excuse for compromising or giving up our role as fathers and husbands. Speaking about taking out the trash, when’s the last time you took your wife for a special New Year's night out?

Blue Ribbons and Good Times

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Shiny blue ribbons, mooing cows, and sweaty summer days seem to epitomize 4-H for many. 4-Hers haul their animals off the family farm and drag them to the county fair where the animals are spiffed up and shown for bragging rights… right? Well, 4-H entails much more; it requires hard work and dedication and provides a time for kids and their parents to work together towards a common goal, whether that is first place for a pig or grand champion on a poster. For a busy dad, 4-H may seem daunting. Surprisingly, it’s not only manageable but truly rewarding.

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