Children of all ages are often faced with what can seem like an overwhelming amount of homework. Managing this can end up being a huge source of stress for the whole family! But it doesn’t have to be if approached in an organised and timely manner.
- If something isn’t working change it.
- Don’t make homework into a punishment.
Success Starts at Home:
- Children who are supported by parents in a positive way with homework are likely to perform significantly better in academic exams than those who are not.
- Kids who have positive support from home are more confident and independent in learning later on in life as they feel motivated AND also know how to organise themselves to complete homework effectively.
- So if we want our children to be successful in school, our involvement and positive support and attitude is important at all ages.
Try Not To Develop a Negative Attitude to Homework: As parents it is very easy to develop a negative attitude towards homework – we know that lots of parents battle with it. But remember we are our kids’ biggest role models and however WE view homework, they will too. So try to think about the benefits of homework and how we can develop OUR positive attitude towards it to encourage a love of learning in our children.
- Homework provides opportunities for reinforcement of their learning during school time and for children to develop their research skills.
- Doing homework will help them get through exams as the learning is processed in a deeper way.
- Homework can be an opportunity to find out more about what your child is learning in school.
- You might learn something new and interesting!
- Homework can be fun if done together: you can use research materials such as encyclopaedias, books, CDs etc. and by doing so help your kids along the path to becoming independent learners.
- Having the responsibility to meet deadlines promotes self-discipline.
So just maybe it is not THAT bad after all!
How can you help?
- Show an interest in your child’s school topics. Don’t just say, ‘please do your homework!’ Ask every day: What did you learn today that you could teach me? What do you have as homework? Do you find it interesting? What do you need to do to complete your homework? etc.
- Encourage children to complete homework to the best of their ability. Be realistic about what your child can achieve; if they have to complete 3 pages and by page 2 your child is done, write to the teacher or maybe take it up again over the weekend when you have more time and your child is less tired. Don’t push your child to the end, this is usually when it all goes wrong!
- Urge children to watch less television and spend more time studying and reading: Have a good look at your child’s screen time. If you feel that homework has become a battle maybe it’s time to talk about limiting screen time.
- Use the when – then rules: when you have done your homework then you can have 30 minutes of screen time etc.
- Praise effort not just achievement: ‘you really tried hard, you should be proud of yourself; I know it was difficult’
- Have a Regular Weekly Homework Routine: planning which days are best to make time for the weekly homework will avoid the late night Sunday panic zone!
Problems with Homework: from time to time you may have concerns about homework. Meet with teachers early in the school year and ask them to let you know if difficulties arise and let them know if you feel your child is really struggling.
Last but not least let them make mistakes and learn: it is NOT your responsibility that THEY do THEIR homework. If you really have supported them and they still refuse and give you grief, leave it and let them experience the consequences. Homework is a learning process – if you remind them all the time, or try to make sure it is perfect, they will suffer later. For example when it comes to university, or when they get a job and you are not there to remind them or do it for them! If it really becomes a problem then you can write to the teacher and let them know that you have really tried but are getting nowhere and that you will leave it up to them to give him/her the consequences. The school will respect you for this and you will have shown that you’re not a ‘bad lazy parent’!
If you need more support you may be interested in our upcoming event called ‘Crack the Code of Homework’ CLICK here to book your space
From the ParentingSuccess Team
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