My child has homework that I don’t understand and can’t help him with. Help?!?

1. Arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher to respectfully explain the situation from your viewpoint.
2. Get the teacher’s perspective and assess his or her willingness to help.

3. Share what you have done at home to establish the time and type of environment required for effective home study.

4. Come prepared with a short but specific list of questions/concerns (3-5) to clarify key issues and focus the discussion.

5. Provide the teacher with a copy to review during your meeting and for future reference.

The goal is to open up a constructive dialogue, build a working relationship and hopefully resolve your concerns over time.


1. After school programs with homework assistance

2. Volunteer tutors (retirees, college students, church, etc.)

3. Online assistance for homework assignments coordinated through your child’s school and/or district

4. Visit the Parent Center in your child’s school or district (if available) for tips, strategies and connections to practical support to assist your child.

5. Canvass your church and local community for connections to educators or other capable and willing individuals (working or retired) to provide homework support.

6. Visit your local bookstore, educational supply store or other sources for workbooks and additional materials you can purchase at low cost to beef up your skills in areas where your child needs your help.


It can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task to research these types of resources and programs especially when you’re trying to fit it around busy work schedules. So consider teaming up with other parents to form a HSN (Homework Support Network).

1. Establish a viable meeting site (community site or home rotation schedule) and supervision schedule (parents and/or other qualified volunteers).

2. Create clear guidelines regarding drop off, pickup and supervision duties.

3. Pool funds to provide necessary tools and materials to optimize impact and effectiveness of your HSN.

We figured out how to do this with intramural sports a long time ago. It’s high time we applied that model to helping our kids succeed with their academic pursuits don’t you think?

~ Dr. Marta

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