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Don't do your kids' homework, but do help them stay organized

Dr. Brian Conley suggests parents try doing bills or reading while children do homework. (File)

September is Back to School Month and with kids back in the classroom, homework is once again an after school reality.

In this week's Family First segment, KRCG spoke with SSM Health pediatrician Dr. Brian Conley about how parents should and shouldn't help their kids with homework.

"It's very important that parents not actually do the homework, but monitor the homework," Conley said.

He said children need to learn the material on their own, but parents can help kids stay organized.

"A lot of times children have trouble getting work home to do and then getting in a backpack to go back to school," he said. "It's a shame when they don't get credit for something that they know or that they've done."

Sometimes though, homework problems can extend past organizational issues. In that case, Conley said it's crucial to stay in touch with your child's teachers.

"There are some kids who if they're struggling with concentration issues or if they're not just getting things they may need to be looked at further; either by their physician or by the school for some educational testing," the pediatrician said.

Conley also mentioned that some children can fall on the opposite end of the spectrum - some may even finish their homework before they get home. Those kids still need attention after school too.

"When they come home at night they shouldn't be free of homework," the pediatrician said. "They should do some reading."

Whether your child needs an extra challenge or some organizational help, Conley said parents can help by doing some of their work at home too.

"It's good for kids to see parents do homework," he said. "A good time to do your homework would be when your child is doing their homework, to sit down and work on your bills for example, or to do some reading yourself. I think it's helpful for us as parents all the time to role model."

Watch KRCG 13 at 5 p.m. next Friday for the next Family First topic - we'll talk to a physician advisor about how to keep your whole family organized as the new school year gets underway.

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