The Importance of Homework Study Groups for Children

If studying alone is not working for your child, you may want to consider organizing or having your child join a homework study group. Study groups encourage students to collaborate and learn from one another. Read on to learn more about study groups and how they can help your child learn.

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According to Barbara Gross Davis, author of Tools for Teaching, 'Researchers report that students working in small groups tend to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer.' Since students tend to learn better when working in a group, it may be helpful for your child to try participating in a homework study group.

Benefiting from a Study Group

Working in a smaller group can help students learn different ways of thinking as well as learn how to work with others when problem solving. It may also boost a child's self-esteem when they realize that others have similar difficulties with homework, erasing the 'it's just me' idea.

Organizing a Study Group

If you're interested in organizing a study group for your child, you may want to ask your child's teacher if the school already offers an after-school program. Some schools or teachers organize after-school homework programs for their students. These programs are often free since they are supervised by a teacher or volunteer from the community.

If no such program is offered, you could organize your own study group for your child. You could ask other parents in your neighborhood or the parents of your child's friends if they are interested. When establishing the study group, here are some questions to ask the other parents:

  1. Where will the study group sessions be held?
  2. How long should they last?
  3. Who will be supervising/guiding the session?
  4. Should the student attempt the homework before the session?
  5. What contact information should be shared?

Ensuring Productivity

A study group is effective if meeting time is used responsibly. If your child is in middle school or high school, you may not want to supervise the group the entire time. However, you do not want to leave them completely unattended either. You should check in once in awhile to make sure the group stays on topic and is being productive. With older children, you should also emphasize that a study group is to be used for collaboration rather than cheating. Students should be reminded that they are not allowed to copy from one another.

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