Posted in Hints and How-to's
May 17, 2008

Supporting your child with homework

We all know what it is like when our child comes to us the day before an
assignment is due and ask us to help them with it (do it for them???) So here is how it actually SHOULD be done if we really care about giving our child a
learning experience, which I would think…is the actual objective of
assignments…..

A big part of LEARNING for the FUTURE will be not the information so much, but how to

  • discern what info is relevant
  • and the HOW of extracting and getting to the relevant information
  • as well as the skill to summarise the chosen info into a CRITICAL reflection
  • NO MORE CUT AND PASTE!!!!!!

So it will be cool if we can guide our kids HOW to do this (as the teachers are not necessarily going to do
it)…a tall order but IMPORTANT! This means that we sit with them and learn with them (as opposed to doing it for them…) Asking them all the time what they think look important and ….what does this mean to you…

I was asked by a parent to PLEASE just send them a few website addresses for their child’s assignment on “Discuss productivity and its effects on economic prosperity, growth and global competition”.  So it made me think (which is a good thing). How do we help our kids if we really feel strongly about giving them skills to cope in a future world (which for me is the definition of education)?

Here is my guideline. And I am hoping that I can get some help and suggestions here to fine-tune my thoughts… (note to self…will go and post this in my classroom 2.0 community and ask for help)

Help your child to…·        

  • Understand the topic that was given to them. For this Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org)  works well as an entry understanding place.
    • Eg: Productivity…what does it mean…how is it defined
    • economic prosperity…..
    • growth
    • global competition·        
  •  Google the topic
    • Again: By pasting keywords one for one
    • by pasting the whole thing into the search window
    • By taking sections of the task and adding the local perspective
      eg.   growth +’South Africa” (remember to combined words with “..”)       
  • Go and search in  Del.icio.us (It is a site where real people bookmark stuff…so the articles you get there are always very relevant-my favourite tool!)
    • Eg: search for “economic growth” ·        
  • For a bit of interactive fun…go to Youtube and do a search for a relevant video (remember our kids are digital natives- they love multimedia)·        

Once you have your search results:

  • Glance over the search results and ask your child/yourself: ”What looks like it could be most relevant to the topic?
  • Dive into the chosen articles and see if you can get an idea of how it relates to your topic·        
  • Form your own opinion about the topic and critically discuss it in your assignment!! 

Hope this helps.  

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