Getting the Most Out of Homework

Whether your child is just starting their educational journey or whether they are climbing up through the classes towards ?big school?, homework is usually a big part of the day. From the small tasks such as colouring a few pictures to the big projects, the work your child brings home from school can be a source of conflict for the whole family, or it can be a chance to share some time together and make the learning process fun.

The key to getting the most out of homework is making it enjoyable. In order to do this, homework should never be something that keeps your child from doing something more fun. If your child views the homework as something they just have to get through before they can play, they won?t be giving it the quality of attention they need to give it in order to really learn from it. On the other hand, if homework is an indisputable part of their routine and a time they can enjoy (as much as possible!) then you just might be able to eliminate the eye-rolling and procrastinating that happens in pretty much every household when homework is mentioned (you aren?t the only one fighting this battle!)

Homework Routine

Food first ?

if you take out the books and immediately start to discuss the homework, your child is likely to be too tired and distracted to get involved happily. Instead, serve them a snack and chat about the day. This gives them a little break and a boost of energy. Avoid letting them watch television or play as it can be even more difficult to get them back in the right frame of mind to do their homework once they have sampled freedom!

Have a homework box ?

this is a great idea that makes homework time easier and quicker. Designate a box as the homework box and fill it with anything your children might need to do their homework. Never assume they will bring home what they need! By having pens, pencils, colouring things, scrap paper, rulers, a maths set and calculator close to hand, you will spend less time gathering up what they need, and they can stay focused on the work.

Join in ?

few children can resist being asked to show you what they are learning, especially if you show genuine interest in the work. So instead of approaching the homework by telling them what they need to do, ask questions and ask to be shown. This is the fast track to getting the best work out of any child at homework time.

Homework can be rewarded at home as well as at school. This might mean making a big fuss of how well the child has done and giving them a treat, or it could mean adding a sticker to a reward chart for homework completed without a fuss. Another way of rewarding good homework practice (and making it more likely they will repeat it!) is to encourage your child to show their work to other family members.

By creating a good routine, your child will be less likely to resist the homework they bring home. Never be tempted to do the homework for your child. Help them to work out what they need to do, and check it over for them, but don?t actually take control of the homework itself. If your child is really struggling, help them as best you can and mention the problem to the child’s teacher so they can address the issue.

If your child is exhausted, unwell or has an outstanding commitment that you cannot avoid such as a doctor’s appointment or family occasion, get them to attempt as much of the homework as they can and write a note to the teacher explaining the situation, then get the child to complete the work the next night. Homework is designed to help the child develop and learn and is an opportunity, not a burden ? so enjoy the time you spend together (you might even learn something!)