Homework can often be an unpleasant thing to do. What child actively wants to come home after a day in school and continue with their studies? How can you help your kids with their homework?
Not every child will enjoy doing their homework, but thankfully, many will understand that it is just part and parcel of school life. However, while some children will be actively engaged and willing to do their homework, with very little effort, other children can struggle. There can be a variety of reasons for this. However, as a parent, often getting involved with your child when it comes to their homework can have a positive impact. So how can you help your kids with their homework? Here are some suggestions.
Discuss the homework and offer encouragement
Many schools will have a schedule when it comes to homework. For a primary school student, it may be alternate subjects once a week with spellings or reading practice. For a secondary school student, it will likely be a few different subjects with different deadlines. However, discussing the homework and offering encouragement can help your child feel happier doing it. Opening up the line of communication can be a vital step.
Talk about the subject and ask questions
Asking questions can help to encourage your child to open up about the homework they have. You could start by asking what they have, or for younger children checking their homework diary or school app. Talk about the subject and gauge a reaction. This might enable your child to open up and explain what they like, or in some cases dislike or struggle with when it comes to some subjects. This will give you an idea of how to help them or offer your guidance if they need it.
Reward the small successes
Encouragement is key when it comes to homework, after all, many children won’t be doing it out of choice. So rewarding the small successes can often be a great incentive for your children. With younger kids, it might be a reward of cartoons or screentime, for older children sometimes your words have great power and meaning. Rewarding the small successes can encourage your child to keep on going, even when they may be finding it hard.
Create a routine and be on hand to help
Another thing you can do would be to create a routine to help them establish time in their evening to dedicate to homework. Kids have things they want to do as well when they get home, perhaps playing online with their friends or being out in the garden on warm evenings. So having a routine can help them to know when it is time to do their work and allow you to be on hand to offer some help and advice.
Same time every day or week
It might be helpful to you and your child to have the same time every day or each week that you dedicate to homework. It is all about managing expectations sometimes with children, so if they know this is when they usually will be doing their homework then there is less conflict to get it done. It can also help you to be around at that time, just in case they need any help.
Break it up so it isn’t overwhelming
A great way to help the homework be less overwhelming is to break it up. You can do that in terms of subjects for older children or in time for younger kids. It might be that you look at doing ten minutes each day for your little ones so that it doesn’t seem like such a big task. With older children who may have more to do, you could help them break it up by subject. Or even time slots can help them to manage the workload that they may have.
Do they have a place they can study?
It is important to try and create a place where they can study. An area where they can work easily and feel comfortable. Here are a few things to consider.
Some children do their homework in their bedroom, so getting them a desk could be a great way to encourage them more. If they feel able to comfortably do their work then they may be more inclined to get things done with little fuss. If they don’t have space for a desk having an area in the home with a table could be just as useful.
One of the biggest issues children have when it comes to their homework is distractions. The TV, radio, games consoles or mobile phones. So do your best to limit this where possible. Switch everything off, help your child get comfortable and in the right frame of mind.
Reading together can make a big impact
One of the best ways to increase confidence in academics is through reading. Again, not every child will enjoy reading or actively want to do it. So a great way to help is to read together. Take some time to listen to them read but also choose some books to read together. Read a page each and bring the stories to life. The more you do it, the more their confidence will grow.
Seek out outside help
Finally, if your child is struggling with a specific subject or generally not grasping their work, then it could be time to seek some outside help and support. Here are a few things you could consider.
Discuss with the teacher
One of the first things to do would be to discuss the issues with their teacher. The teacher will be in the best possible place to advise on the next steps or offer some advice on what you can do to help.
There are some great private tutors that you could enlist the help of. Most specialise in specific subjects and for particular ages ranges, so you are bound to find someone who will be perfect for your child and the things they might be struggling with. The great thing is that many work online making it much more accessible.
Educational apps are there to help in specific areas. Your school might recommend some apps that you can try, or seek out some online that have been reviewed or recommended.
Hopefully, these tips will help you help your kids with their homework.