Homework Tips for Parents
Parents and children alike both dread homework. It is often hard to approach your child about homework without getting a negative reaction. After a long day at school, homework is not exactly the most enticing thing but it has to be done. Here are 10 top tips to help you and your child get through homework with less stress.
Being aware of what homework your child is receiving each week, and what to expect, will soften the blow a lot. Take an interest in what they are studying in each subject, this will make it easier when it comes to broaching the subject. Talking casually with your child about it will build up an interest and trust between you when talking about school and schoolwork. If your child feels that they will be chastised every time schoolwork is brought up they are unlikely to be forthcoming with the information. Also ask to look over their work with enough time for it to be amended, this way you are helping proof-read but also finding out where they are at with the work. Be aware of your child’s strengths and weaknesses will help throughout their school career.
Encouraging your child through offering rewards could be considered bribery but it is effective. They are still a child under your roof and you can still maintain the right to allow them treats. This can be anything from a weekend activity with friends to cooking their favourite meal as a reward. It is important to maintain a consistent level and not to bend the rules too much. Before they even start their homework let them know what they can have/do if they complete on time. This will also give them a positive attitude to this kind of work.
It is no secret that many of us struggle with beginning any kind of written work or study. As a parent, it may be beneficial to encourage and help with the first steps of the process. Talk with them about what needs to be done and offer alternative approaches. It may even just take a little chat to spark their encouragement and imagination.
Try the best you can to allow your child to have an appropriate atmosphere for study. Sitting at a table or desk is generally the most productive but the atmosphere surrounding them is just as important as the physical necessities. If they prefer to be around you, to talk and bounce ideas off, then make yourself available but ensure a quiet space of little to no distractions. Phones and mobile devices may need to be taken by force at first but your child will see the benefits of having no distractions very quickly. The work will go quicker and you can reward them with it at the end. If you have other children, encourage them to leave the child who is studying alone for a couple of hours whilst they get it done.
Make sure your child has the correct equipment and resources for the homework they must complete. When discussing the homework they have ask what form the homework must be completed in. If it is a scientific or mathematical project, protractors and calculators may be necessary. Other tasks may require particular books; make sure they have these before they leave school if possible. If they require the internet for research try to make sure that they are not distracted online for long. If they have everything they need to start, they are unlikely to get up and waste time looking for it.
Be realistic with your child and allow them to be realistic with themselves. After school, time usually flies pretty quickly. Find out what they usually spend their time on after school and try to compromise with things that can be moved around to fit in a time for homework.
Discuss together when you believe the best time to do homework is; this will differ with each child. Clubs and activities may take up a few nights a week, dinner time and chores will also eat into the time between home time and sleep so try to be honest about when it will fit in best. Write up a timetable together and although homework does fluctuate week-to-week over estimate the time it will take to reduce stress. Try as hard as possible to get your child to stick with the homework schedule, it will get easier in time and make them a lot more positive about the whole thing.
It is a fear of many parents that their child is being over loaded. Sports, homework, school and social responsibilities soon mount up on a child and it can go unnoticed if not looked out for. If you feel your child is struggling with the amount of homework they are being given then it may be time to give up an extra-curricular activity until they are back on track. Help them to alleviate stress by talking to them about their priorities. If they are still struggling after other responsibilities have been lifted, it may be time to get in touch with the school. Find out what they are struggling in and why, these areas may just require a little more support.
The discussion of homework can cause tension in the household. Keeping a positive and jovial attitude, even towards pretty tetchy behaviour will allow a more adult attitude towards their responsibilities. Be honest and open and try to avoid empty threats. Reward as much as you can to encourage positive behaviour and completion of tasks. A positive attitude is infectious so be this way as much as possible, especially when tackling the subject of school and homework.
The balance of involvement is one that all parents struggle with. Try to keep a track of what homework is coming in and find out what grades they are receiving. This will keep you involved appropriately as a parent; if your child is struggling you will find out pretty soon and be able to address it. Try to maintain a balance and although it is advised to avoid smothering make your child aware it is important you to keep track of how they are getting on.
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