Homework Tips Your Babysitter Should Know

By Kaitlin Hurtado on September 29, 2023

Your babysitter may wear many hats while on the job – they likely are not just there to supervise your kids while you are away. Depending on the expectations you set for your babysitter when you hired them, they may have a range of responsibilities while on the clock. This can include household chores like laundry, preparing meals, walking the dog, and homework help. Many babysitters may not have the background or education to be an actual teacher for your children, but with proper preparation, they can step in and help your children with their homework as needed.

Keep reading for homework tips your babysitter should know.

Photo: Pexels

Have them understand your child’s homework routine

Every family will have their own established routine for their children, homework habits included. Some families opt to have their kids get their homework done as soon as they get home so they ensure the job gets done. Others allow their kids some free time before they sit down to get their homework completed. Whatever the situation is for your family, make sure your babysitter is well aware of your current routine so they can follow it while on the job.

Do you limit homework work to a designated area, such as the dining room or desk to limit distractions? Is there a specified timeframe when homework is done? Do you try to get everything done at once or break it up into smaller chunks of focus time with playtime in between?

Keeping a routine for your child can help them from getting confused about varying routines and also help them understand the difference between homework time and playtime, regardless of who is with them.

Offer breaks

Depending on the age of the child, and how much homework they have, getting all their homework done in one sitting is a much more difficult task than what is expected. Some kids have shorter attention spans than others, while the majority of us just are not meant to put our brains toward something without a break.

Encourage your babysitter to “read the room” and understand when your child needs a break from homework. They may show signs of being restless, such as fidgeting and wandering eyes, as they lose concentration on the task at hand. Rather than force them to do a task they aren’t putting full effort into, the babysitter can step away with them for some playtime or a snack break and return once they are ready to focus again.

On the other hand, your child may just be having an off day. If that’s the case, your babysitter should feel comfortable reaching out to let you know your child is struggling to commit to homework and it may have to wait until you come home to help them with whatever problem they are facing.

Discuss your child’s weaknesses and how you are handling them

Regardless of how much experience your babysitter has under their belt, they haven’t experienced your exact child yet. Every child is different, and what worked for kids they babysat in the past may not work for your own child. As a parent, discuss what you have already recognized as a weakness or what your child tends to need more time and attention with.

When you let your babysitter know ahead of time what to look out for and give more time and attention to, it can eliminate a lot of frustration for everyone involved. Your babysitter can understand your child’s needs from the get-go and be ready to help them as needed. Your child will be less likely to feel frustration or confusion when their needs are suddenly not being met by their caretaker as they are used to.

Encourage feedback

If your babysitter becomes the person who is primarily helping your child with homework, such as you asking them to have all the homework done by the time you come home, encourage them to give you feedback on your child’s homework situation. They can bring up any issues that spot, such as your child struggling to pick up a certain concept, or them struggling with their current workload.

If you are no longer the person helping your child with homework on a daily basis, these things can be harder to spot, especially if your child is not the type to alert you of any difficulties they are facing. When your babysitter gives you feedback, it can help you plan out how to help your child better, such as hiring a tutor for specialized help or reaching out to their teacher for further guidance.

Communicating with your babysitter should always be a priority in order to make sure your family is getting the care they need, even homework should make the list of topics to discuss with your babysitter. With these tips in mind, you can get those important conversations started.

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