I get it!! With parents long commute home from work, cooking the dinner, football practice, shopping to do etc – homework for some children and their families can be a nightmare! Luckily for some, I know that the days/months and years of homework may be numbered. In the meantime however, I’d like to share with you some tips that parents can use that will help.
1. Routine – If homework is completed at a certain time of the day (e.g. directly after school or at 6pm etc) it becomes habit and there should – in time, be less resistance. Begin with easy tasks to settle into it. Tackle a harder piece of homework then and finish with something easier at the end.
2. Create a workspace – If space allows, have a dedicated homework station complete with school bags and study materials already set up – tables charts, useful flashcards , writing materials etc. Turn off any distractions (TV, mobile phones, internet etc) to make sure that the time spent doing homework is focused time for homework only. How could you reduce the interruptions during homework time e.g. from younger children to ensure that homework is completed as well and efficiently as possible?
3. Homework Policy – Is the time spent doing homework with your child/children truly focused work – (distraction free/independent work with parental guidance to check understanding)? If so, what is the school’s homework policy? How long should it take your child to do his/her homework according to this policy? If your child is really struggling with the length of time taken to do the work – approach the child’s teacher to explain that your child is trying hard but is taking too long to get the work done. He/she may have some ideas to help and you could come up with a more effective plan together.
4. Assess learning – when working 1-1 with a child in relation to spellings/tables for example on day 1 – I note which spellings/tables he/she knows already. As the week goes on, I focus only on the spellings/tables the child is unsure of. In this way, more attention can be given to the areas that need to be worked on. Flashcard games and online games may help make things a bit more interesting!
5. Maths – unsure about how to explain a maths sum/method to your child? Can you YouTube the method or ask a classmate to explain? This doesn’t need to take long. Perhaps the classmate could record it as a Whatsapp voice message or a short video etc etc. Social media is here to stay. Use it to help in any way that you can!
What strategy here can you implement to improve homework in your home? Take action today! If you enjoyed reading these tips and fancy seeing how I could work with you as a family to make homework more enjoyable you might enjoy my ‘Homework Mentoring Service’. Drop me a mail please to find out more about how I can help!