From the first year of school our children are now being given homework. It may begin with a little reading and a few worksheets but by the end of the school year there’ll be piles of books, essays to be written and much more. It can be hard to help children, especially younger ones who aren’t used to it, to see that homework is a necessary part of their learning. School continues out of the classroom and this means you need to bring a little of the teacher into your home.
Homework can be stressful if you let it overcome your child which is why it needs to have its own time set aside each day or each week. Good study habits serve you well in life and they can help your child have a successful school career.
Supporting a successful homework routine
We have five tips which should mean you can provide your children with the support they need to get through, if not exactly enjoy homework.
You need a routine in place from the first day of school. As soon as your child begins receiving homework you need to establish a proper study routine, ensuring your child completely understands what they need to do. Have a chat about your expectations and when you think it would be best to set aside some homework time. Clear ground rules from the off will help your child understand everything clearly and there will be less chance of tantrums and tears.
As your child progresses through school there will also be longer time needed to be set aside for homework. It may only need to be 15 minutes in their first year but this will increase as their skill set and subject areas expand. You can work in some parts of the homework, such as reading, alongside other tasks. Have their reading book as your bed time story for example.
On the subject of reading it’s important to encourage and work with your child on their reading as much as possible. Reading is one aspect of homework that can be completely fun and of course finding books about their favourite topics will always help. Reading homework can then become fun rather than a chore.
Homework time needs to be as stress free as possible. If your child struggles it could be worth investing a private tutor to support them once or twice a week. If they have a subject they find hard then take time to work through it with them. Stress does nothing but create blocks to learning. You can’t simply tell them the answers of course but you can guide them in the right direction.
Number One Rule
More important than anything else is to avoid fighting. It’s very easy to get locked into a war of words when your child is struggling or determined not to do their homework. In these situations simply step out of the ring and perhaps someone else, a sibling or your partner, can step in. This is another great reason for investing in a tutor as their unbiased yet authoritative position will keep your child focused on their work and less prone to outbursts.
Homework is an integral part of your children’s education and the more you get involved and support them, the better the results.