What is an after school program?
It is an activity held after the traditional school hours are over. Some schools themselves offer the program, sometimes not for profit or commercial organizations offer it too. Host of activities take place; such as exercise, sports, performing arts, help with homework, outdoor activities like scouts, etc. The program is important because it helps in behavioral and academic growth of the student.
Why is it important to take after school homework help for your child?
- Character building and self confidence
One of the main reasons why after school programs have become so popular all over the world is this. Your child isn’t just getting homework help; there are so many other activities happening along with this that it boosts your child’s morale.
Your child, along with the other children present participates in educational games that often help the child to overcome his fear or aversion towards a particular subject, making him confident of himself. When he sees other children like him are around him doing the same thing and asking questions, he will feel confident to get his doubts clarified too.
- Teaches them independence
When a child feels confident in himself, he will automatically try to be less reliant on other people. Children often ask for help even though they may know the answer because they doubt themselves. The moment he is confident, he starts to be independent.
- Busy parents don’t have to worry about child’s homework anymore
Parents who are working hard so that they can provide the best for their children often end up not finding that time to sit and help with homework. Not only do they end up feeling guilty, the whole activity becomes counterproductive. Enrolling a child in an after school homework help program ensures that the child is actually finishing his assignments and there are qualified tutors guiding him; so he is actually learning.
- Encourages children to attend school
After school programs usually make the whole learning process more enjoyable and the child who used to dread going to school, would actually now enjoy attending classes; for he has conquered his fear of homework.
Your checklist for selecting after school homework help:
Ask yourself these questions while you’re checking out the space for your child’s after school homework help.
What kind of environment does the program have? Is it friendly? It should be. Your child should feel more comfortable here than in his normal classroom. There should be a feeling of friendliness and warmth.
Does it have a quiet corner? It should have. Your child needs to be able to concentrate on his work without too much distraction.
Is the place well lit?
Are students of all grades crammed in together? That shouldn’t be. Students of the same grade should be given the same space.
What happens when some children finish their homework before the others? Is there any provision to ensure they don’t immediately start disturbing other students? There should be. Many after school homework help organizations offer silent activities like listening to music on earphones or reading a book.
The environment of the place is the first thing that makes your child comfortable and feels at home. If you see a red flag while looking out for any of these signs, you need to change your option immediately.
Is the staff qualified to help your child? Are they friendly? Are they strict? Are they patient? The last three questions can only be answered by parents whose children are already in the program so make sure you meet them, interact with them. You don’t want your child to be even more petrified than he already is.
However, a sense of discipline and decorum needs to be there, because you don’t want your child to be monk eying around also. Assignments have deadlines and there should be a set timetable made by the staff for the students to ensure that homework is actually completed.
How do they check if the student is lying or not about having no assignment? They should ideally be asking you the parent to check your child’s notebooks to see if there are any assignments given.
- How do they make homework interesting
What do they do to make homework interesting? Are there any innovating methods used to explain concepts? Are there any educational games to simplify a complex concept or to make a dull topic interesting? Children need to want to come here, only then can their confidence be boosted, and their overall interest in their respective subjects is developed.
What is their approach to after school homework help? Do they offer individual attention or prefer group studies only or offer both? The approach that suits your child the best is the best approach for you. The most common approach these after school homework help organizations have is the individual + group studies approach.
This is quite beneficial because it teaches your child to be a team player and encourages leadership qualities also. Individual study ensures that the child is also serious and focused towards his own goals.
- Quality time
And finally, how much time does the staff actually spend with your child to help out with his homework? As a parent you should know how much time is allotted in each case (individually as well as in group)?
See how many red flags arise when you go through this checklist. The ones with the least or none should be the one you select for your child. Your child will feel secure if there’s a routine, where time is managed effectively. This ensures that your child, once comfortable in the space and routine, will finish his homework successfully without much distraction.