Some parents love homework, seeing it as an opportunity for children to practice their lessons, boost their learning, build confidence and even organise themselves better (depending on their age) from home. Some parents loathe homework, however, feeling that their children do enough at school as it is and that it intrudes on family time. Whatever you think about it, helping with homework is just one of those things that us parents need to get on board with.
Whatever your opinion on homework is the chances are that at some point your children/children will be bringing some home and so it is important that we as parents are able to help and support them with it so that they get it done on time and of course learn from it!
Love it or loathe it these top tips may well be just what you’ve been looking for to make homework nights /days better.
Pick at Time
If homework is a regular thing, and it often is, find a time that works best for everyone, yourself (who needs to be free and not busy doing something else if needed) and the child (who perhaps doesn’t work their best at certain times of the day/week). Once you have a homework timetable of sorts in place stick to it as best you can. That way you’ll be prepared, they will be prepared and you’ll be able to make sure that homework takes place at the optimum time/day while you take care of any potential distractions.
Find the Right Place
Trying to write an essay on Ancient Benin, or practice multiplication is not going to be easy in the middle of the dining room table surrounded by siblings colouring in and fighting over games, or in a place where the TV is a distraction. Older children might wish to have a desk in their room with everything they need to hand so they may work in privacy, however, this might not work if your child needs extra encouragement to stay on track or help from you.
Choose somewhere comfortable (but not the sofa), somewhere quiet (siblings need to be occupied or doing their own work) and somewhere with enough lights and space to do what they need to do, be it making a large poster or writing a book report.
The Homework Kit
Once you’ve got into the habit of doing homework with your child you’ll soon recognise what tools they are likely to need, be these stationery items, a laptop and printer, books, art and craft items and more. Put together a homework box with everything they are likely to need close to hand.
Communicate with the School
Teachers love it when their parents talk to them (no really)! If you are looking at ways to better support your child with their homework, if you have any concerns, if you feel they are struggling (or finding the work very easy) get in touch. Children do sometimes work differently depending on where they are and your teacher might be able to offer hints and tips to make homework time more fun and of course will clarify what they are meant to be doing. Teachers will even be able to show you the maths methods they are currently using (for example) if you feel this would be helpful in how you support your child practising at home. Just send a note in and ask for a quick meeting after school (etc) and you’ll soon be on the right track.
Some children work very well on their own, some need extra help, some love homework, some really don’t like it. Whatever the situation in your home try out these top tips for helping with homework at home and talk to teachers about concerns and how to make the work more fun!