It’s easy to understand why some students resist homework. Similarly to you wanting to put your feet up after a hard day's work, your children have put in the hours at school and soon after the buzz of crowded corridors and long lunch queues fizzles out, they too, are exhausted.
We know why homework is important, it’s a vital part of reinforcing your child’s learning, strengthening their study habits and ensuring they can execute tasks independently. That doesn't however, mean it makes your brain less likely to implode at the sight of a quadratic equation or French past participle.
As a parent, it becomes even trickier given that your children genuinely think you know the answer to everything.
Seeing as unfortunately, you don't have the answer to everything, keep reading below for 7 top tips to help with homework.
1.A joint venture
If your child is struggling to do their homework. Before you jump to conclusions about them being lazy, dig a little deeper.
There seems to be one prevailing factor that puts kids off of completing their homework and that's the loneliness associated with the often hours-long solitary task.
Most of us find we need peace and quiet to complete our work. But the deafening silence that rings throughout the empty house when schoolchildren get home invokes a sense of loneliness that’s enough to make anyone procrastinate. To mitigate this, try using homework as an opportunity to spend time with your son or daughter and keep it conversational when it comes to homework. Encourage your children by paying interest, asking questions about their workload and keeping lines of communication open.
Where possible, try having your child do their homework at a communal table. Studying at the dining room or kitchen table rather than alone in their room should alleviate any loneliness and prevent procrastination. Failing this, perhaps consider a homework club!
2. Create a to-do list
It might seem simple, but sometimes simplicity is best. The idea is to remove as many barriers as possible, making it super easy for your kids to get their homework done. You've got them at the communal table, now it's time to help them get organised.
Creating a to-do list offers a form of structure to your child's routine and introduces them to the importance of organisation and time management. It will allow your child to feel in control and get their head around the tasks at hand.
Additionally, this way they gain a sense of satisfaction when ticking tasks off, enhancing focus on the remaining tasks.
3. Bring in the experts
You're probably aware that demand for private tuition is on the rise, especially following the pandemic and it might be the answer to your child’s homework struggles. Not only does 1-1 tuition offer a solution to the loneliness associated with homework but it offers support from qualified, experienced and helpful educators.
Scoodle’s tutors currently hold an impressive 130 PhDs and 500 Masters degrees between them so you can rest assured that your child's education is in the right hands. Why not check out their video lessons and resources for an insight into their teaching style.
4. Break down big assignments
When faced with a mammoth task, schoolchildren are inclined to look for an escape route.
It makes sense then to break the task down into smaller, less daunting chunks. You might be starting to notice a pattern here but this is where communication comes into play once more.
Try asking your child to organise their tasks in the order they think they should complete them. Encourage them to explain their thinking and justify their decisions, drawing attention to any important deadlines. Not only will this encourage bigger picture thinking but it will foster prioritisation and analysis skills.
5. Be their cheerleader
Your role in the homework department is clear. Aim to consistently monitor, help organise and praise the effort going into your child’s work. It's vital that they receive acknowledgement when they have done well. Receiving this recognition and making you proud will help their motivation to skyrocket all the while emphasising why homework is important.
6. Compromise is key
Try to remember that moving forward, homework is a joint venture, requiring effort from you both.
That's not to say that you should be completing it for them. Here, we're talking about establishing a routine that works for everyone, bearing in mind that flexibility is key.
In practice, this might look like introducing a timer. Once you've had the discussion about prioritisation, challenge your child to estimate how long each piece of homework will take and explore how long they can realistically focus for, breaking up the homework into set timed blocks.
7. Give perfection a miss
When it comes to homework, don’t expect to know everything but don't rule out the possibility of getting hands-on, helping your child to attempt tricky questions. You never know, you might surprise yourself!
From curriculums to teaching methods, things have likely changed since you were at school. It's worth explaining things in your own terms where possible but try not to overcomplicate explanations at risk of confusing your child.
If you're not having any luck, don’t worry. At its core, school is supposed to challenge your child. As long as they are giving it their best shot and understand why homework is important, no one can ask any more of them.
Ultimately, nailing down the homework process is a test of grit. It is demanding and rewarding in equal measure but only communication, collaboration and persistence will see you and your child reap the rewards of your hard work.
Too busy to consistently help with your child’s homework?
If you think they could benefit from some additional help with homework, browse the expert tutors on Scoodle now!
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