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100 Tips for Nannies and Families

The advice in this book comes from Candi Wingate, President of Care4hire.com.
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Babysitters Helping with Homework

You babysit a family of two kids every afternoon from the time the kids get out of school to the time the parents get home from work.  Among your responsibilities as a babysitter, you are to help the kids with their homework.  Here are a few tips to help you accomplish that task.

  • Speak with your employer-parents to determine what their expectations and rules are regarding study time and how you can best help the kids with their homework.
  • Have the kids study in a designated study area. Perhaps they always study at the kitchen table, for example.
  • Ensure that distractions are kept to a minimum. No TV or radio blaring in the background, no neighbor kids coming and going, etc.
  • Ensure proper lighting in the study area. Well lit areas are best for studying.
  • Provide light, healthy finger snacks during study time. Carrot sticks, cucumber slices, strawberries, grapes, grape tomatoes, popcorn, and granola bars are excellent choices. Beverages should also be healthy; fruit juices, tomato juice, milk, and water are excellent choices. (Note: ensure that there are plenty of napkins to keep food traces off homework papers.) Ensure that the quantity and timing of study snacking will not diminish appetite for dinner.
  • When the kids have homework that they don’t understand, do not provide them the answers. Instead, help them look up the answers in their textbooks. For example, if one of the kids in your care says that he doesn’t understand how to calculate x = 2(7 + 4) – 3, then you can turn the pages of his textbook to the section that discusses that algebraic calculation. You can then say, for example, “Ok, so it looks like you have an order of operation. It looks like calculations in your parentheses come first. So, what is 7 + 4?”
  • For material requiring substantial memorization, you can create and use flash cards to aid in committing the material to memory. You can also “grill” your kids by asking them questions about the material. For example, you may ask the following questions. “What is a part of speech? What is an infinitive verb? What is the difference between an active verb and a passive verb? What is a pronoun? What is a proper noun?”
  • Review the kids’ homework for accuracy. When you find errors, politely ask the children to review and correct their answers.
  • Praise the kids generously for each accomplishment. For example, “You’re really doing well on your earth science homework! Good job!”
  • Never criticize the kids regarding their homework. Ask questions instead. For example, you may say, “When we first started your homework this afternoon, you really had it down pat, but these last few questions have really been a struggle even though they’re the same kind of math as before. Are you getting sleepy or what do you think is making the difference?”

By following the above tips, you can effectively help the kids in your care with their homework.  For more useful babysitting tips; continue to visit Care4hire.com.

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