5 Top Homework Tips for Parents
The time and the place
Establish a structured routine, and designated place for your child to do their homework. Free from distractions, such as the TV, their phone and their siblings!
You’ll know which time would work best for your child. Most children are more productive earlier in the evening, and not too close to bedtime. Some children like to have a break and a snack before hitting the books after school, others prefer to get homework out of the way first and relax after. Either way, ensure you schedule a regular time.
Even siblings who are the best of friends will distract each other. If you have more than one child, we suggest trying to find a homework space for each of your children. Also, try to ensure if one child were to finish their homework before the other, to encourage quiet time, reading/playing quietly - as to not distract their sibling who is still working away.
Set an example
Demonstrate to your child that homework is very much part of adult life too! When your child sits down to do their homework, you could also sit and read a book or work on your accounts. This will help to normalise the process of homework, your child will then see that everyone does it!, and that they aren’t being singled.
Offer guidance, not the answers!
Try to avoid giving your child the answer, as then they won’t fully understand the material, and this could set your child back in class. It could also prevent your child from developing independent, lifelong learning skills. However it is a great idea to speak to your child about their homework. Through explanation and teaching it to you, reinforces what they’ve learnt in class. Showing an active interest in your child’s work can also give them a boost and much needed motivation!
Help your child with time management
Encourage your child to plan homework time, all homework isn’t due the next day! Help your child manage their homework diary, and plan to make time for bigger projects. Help your child figure out what they feel is more difficult homework and which homework they find easy. Encourage your child to tackle the tougher homework first, ensuing they are fresh for the challenge!
Look out for signs of frustration
Check in on your child every so often, and look out for signs of struggle or if they’ve been on the same question for a while. Encourage your child to take a break and come back with fresh eyes.
Be available to offer guidance and help break down the problem into smaller sequential steps (if possible), otherwise be supportive!
Share with your child’s class teacher any concerns you may have about the amount or type of homework assigned. Be sure to let the teacher know if your child is regularly having difficulties or unable to complete the work on their own.
Arrange a small homework club with your child’s friends once a week. Peer to peer learning is incredibly effective, sometimes a classmate is better at explaining a tricky problem than you are. A study group with friends can also help make homework a more positive experience!