For many parents, the hardest part of homework is knowing when to lend a hand and when to stand aside.

Ladies' Home Journal has compiled the following tips to help parents and children develop smart study strategies together.- Set aside a study area: Select a quiet place with plenty of light, far away from the television.

- Designate a nightly study time: A regular study schedule reduces the temptation to procrastinate. For consistency, be sure to enforce the rule each day.

- Ask questions: By asking about the assignment, parents help children develop new ideas and identify concepts to be learned.

- Give encouragement: Reassure children if they are overwhelmed by the difficulty of an assignment. Help them organize their tasks and manage their time.

- Foster independence: Allow children to learn on their own. Boost their confidence in their own abilities by waiting to be asked before helping.Guidelines for children

- Preview what's ahead: Children should read instructions, headings and summaries. They should note central themes and major focus points.

- Take notes: Note taking improves concentration and helps distinguish between details and main ideas. Notes also make great study guides when test time comes.

- Use reference books: Develop the habit of using the encyclopedia or dictionary to find more information.

- Create tests: Make up questions from homework assignments to create short self-testing sessions. This is an effective way to spot strengths and weaknesses.