Helping your child with their reading, writing and maths at home is probably one of the most important things parents can do to help support their child’s education. However, many parents struggle to get their children to do their homework, resulting in a battle of wills and an inevitable Sunday night rush to complete homework before school the next day – with you doing completing most of it!
However, there are a few simple steps you can take to encourage good study techniques that will stand your children in good stead for years to come.
Here are five of the best:
- 1. Create a quiet learning space
This doesn’t mean building a loft conversion in order to make room for an office, but does mean clearing a space in your child bedroom for a table/desk and chair, away from distractions like TV and games consoles, where your homework can be completed independently and in peace.
- 2. Have the right equipment
Don’t give your child any excuses for not doing their homework. Have a good supply of clean paper, pens and pencils. If possible a PC or laptop and printer will allow your child to carry out internet research and print out information quickly and easily. An all in one printer would be a great investment for the while family as you can print, scan and copy at the touch of a button.
- 3. Keep it light-hearted
Homework time can be very stressful, particularly if you are attempting to teach your child something they do not understand. In order to avoid the situation turning into an argument, try to keep the atmosphere light-hearted and calm. If your child simply isn’t getting something, try to explain it in a different way. If this doesn’t work then leave it and have a quiet word with your child’s class teacher, they may be able to teach you a different method to explain the problem, or arrange additional help for your child in this area.
- 4. Reward and Recognition
Make sure you tell your child how proud you are of them if they complete a piece of homework well, particularly if they did it independently. Your child will be encouraged to try even harder next time.
- 5. Plan ahead
Teaching your child good study habits from a young age will undoubtedly help them in the future. The jump between the amount and frequency of homework at primary and secondary school is huge, and if they are unused to planning their time and working to a schedule this will be a difficult and upsetting culture shock for them.
A simple homework planner teaches them valuable time management skills, and they will need to prioritise their activities in order to meet the goals on the planner.
This article was written by Kathryn Thompson, a freelance writer and mum to three daughters aged between 12 and 5.