It’s September and the kids are back at school. This means homework time and there’s no doubt that kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework.
Here are 5 ways that you can help your child with their homework:
- Get to know the teachers. Go to parents’ evenings or review days and discuss what homework is being set, how long it should take and what the teachers are looking for. Ask about the school’s homework policy and ensure that the school can get in touch with you easily if they have any concerns.
- Set up a homework friendly zone. This could be in a communal area away from cutter or in your child’s own room, but it should be free from distractions including television and video games and be well lit with resources such as paper, pencils and glue to hand.
- Schedule a regular study time that works for your child. This might be straight after school or after dinner depending upon your mealtimes and the amount of homework your child has. Create a schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
- Encourage your child to think independently and do their own homework. It might be tempting to give them the answers or let them Google everything, but in the long term your child working things out for themselves will stand them in good stead for the future. You could, of course, provide study aids such as dictionary, thesaurus or encyclopaedias.
- Be a monitor and motivator. Check on your child’s homework and encourage them to self-check their work for mistakes, but also praise your child’s efforts. You could post pictures on the fridge or let friends and relatives know when they have achieved something special such as a good work certificate.
If you are finding that you having problems with homework, speak to the school. If your child is struggling it might also be worth having a chat with the special needs coordinator to make sure that there aren’t underlying issues. And if homework is too much, raise it with the headteacher – the school may not be aware of how much homework your child is juggling until you bring it to their attention. Communication with the school is key here to ensure that homework is of value and strokes the right balance between home and school.