Homework battles?

Whether we agree with homework or not, Schools are sending work home with our children to support and reinforce the learning taking place in the classroom this ranges from reading books, spellings, maths work and perhaps depending on their age a project to work on. We are our child’s role model here and how we view homework they will too, think carefully before you articulate your thoughts on this subject in front of your off spring.

To reframe our thoughts around homework let us think, how can our child(ren) benefit from homework? How can we help them to develop a positive attitude towards it that will help feed their love for learning?

Homework provides opportunities to reinforce work learned during school time and for children to develop skills needed for their learning. It is also a way for us as parents to see what our child is learning at school. It allows your children the chance to teach you, for them to be the expert. It could be that you learn something new and interesting, so do keep an open mind.

How can we set our child(ren) up for success with their homework?

Here are a few practicalities that may help

  1. Provide a quiet environment, easier said than done if you have more than one child!
  2. Have a regular weekly homework routine which may involve limiting screen time
  3. Praise effort as well as achievement
  4. Provide the equipment they will need to complete the homework
  5. Monitor their homework and support where needed (this is very much age related)
  6. Allow your child to face the consequences should they decide not to do their homework

A great way to entice more information out of our kid(s) about their day at school are to ask open ended questions that mean they have to think of an answer other than ‘no, yes or I don’t remember’. Showing an interest in what they are learning and what homework they have shows you care. Here are a few for you to try:

  • What was something your learnt today?
  • What could you teach me about what you learnt today?
  • What was something that went well for you at school today?
  • What was something that perhaps you need more help with?
  • What homework do you have that I can help you with?

Remember the homework is your child’s; encourage them to complete it to the best of their ability to show what they can do. Don’t push your child so that homework becomes a battle, write a note to the teacher and let them discuss it with your son or daughter.

How can you encourage your children to be life long learners? Can you look at non-fiction books together on a topic that interests them? Could they create posters, power points or help contribute to a family blog on something they are passionate about.

Is technology getting in the way of them completing their homework? If it is then it is time to look at limiting screen time until school work has been completed. Perhaps look at a when/then situation, when you have done your homework then you can watch xxx amount of xxx or it might be that you have a no screens or gadgets on weekdays rule in your home.

Find out from the school what the expected time is for your child(ren) relative to their age for them to spend on homework and what to do if the work set is taking them more time. What would the teacher like you to do if your child finds the work too easy or too hard? What can you do if your child nor you understands the work set?

Homework can be an enriching part of your child’s educational journey, if it is not working out this way then I encourage you to go in and see your son or daughter’s class teacher to discuss further.

Happy homeworking to you all!

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