Homework can become a contentious issue in any family, with many children feeling that there are plenty of other things they’d rather be doing after school than sitting down to the books once more. Here are a few top tips on improving your child’s homework experience.
Help children to connect with the subject of their homework by looking for additional books, websites, or photos that relate to it, or by helping them to link the subject to something that has happened in their lives which will increase their interest in it.
Different children learn best at different times of the day. Some are happy to sit down as soon as they get home from school while others need to run around and let off some steam before they’re ready for more learning. Early risers may find a homework session in the morning beneficial. Having a fixed time for homework will make it part of your daily routine.
Younger children work best in a peaceful and comfortable area downstairs, perhaps in the kitchen or dining area where you are close by, whereas older children may work more independently in their rooms. Gather the things they will need and clear some space to create a dedicated homework area without any distractions such as TV.
Children respond well to tangible, visual things, so use Lego blocks or even small sweets to help with maths homework, or games and puzzles to help with other subjects. You could also introduce songs or rhymes to help children remember certain rules.
A reward chart is a great idea for younger children. Let them place a colourful sticker on it every day when they have completed their homework well and make sure the stickers add up to an appropriate reward at the end of the week. For older children set rules such as no TV or video games until their homework is complete.
Some children learn better in groups that on their own. In this case invite a school friend of a similar age and ability over once a week so they can do their homework together. Plan a fun activity for them once the homework is complete to keep them focussed on the task in hand.
A long list of homework tasks can be daunting, so beak these into small chunks and tackle the most difficult tasks first. If children are struggling to stay interested in their homework take a short break for a healthy snack or physical game before you start again. The age of your children and the way that they learn will have an impact on the way they do their homework, but finding a routine as well as a location that suits them will go a long way to easing the homework challenge. Make sure they understand the importance and relevance of their homework, and make it fun by introducing games, rhymes, and alternative sources that can increase their interest.