A Parent’s Guide: 5 steps to help your child do homework

 

All parents know how important it is for their child to do homework regularly. The challenge is that homework is often far less appealing than playing outside with friends, especially after a long day at school. However, it’s crucial to help your child get used to doing homework regularly. Not only is it important for them to keep up academically, but teaching them persistence, even when something is boring or difficult, is an essential habit to teach your child. Learning to set a goal and stay consistent with work will greatly contribute to your child’s future success on many levels. So here’s what you need to know:

 
 
Have a chat about the importance of homework
 
This chat doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. But allowing your child to feel involved in the process, and not forced into it can really help him or her stay engaged and more willing to keep up with the work. Of course, there will be moments when your child throws a tantrum and resists all forms of homework. The key is to stay calm and rational, and once your child has calmed down, explain why homework is so important. A key point to get across is that you’re trying to make your child’s future easier by setting up this vital habit. This isn’t punishment, but an important habit all students must pick up. And sooner is always better than later.

 
 
Set up expectations and discuss child’s concerns
 
Before the work from school starts piling up, or before you have started giving your child extra work (if you feel the school hasn’t been stimulating your child enough), lay out a homework plan. By this I mean have a discussion with your child about what the expectations will be, both taking into account your child’s energy level and what must be done. For instance, if you want your child to work on English and Maths, explain that he or she must spend 20 minutes a day reading a book of choice, as well as complete a Maths exercise.
 
BOND books are a great support to use for both Maths and English (books are available for ages 5 to 13) and are broken down into different chapters or “focus tests”. So completing one of these a day, or per week (depending on how much homework you deem appropriate) is easy to set up. Setting up a homework plan to do over the summer is also a great way to make sure your child’s foundations are in place. If your child already has homework, then just making sure a specific time of day is reserved for homework is important. Also, if they need some support, checking in with them midway through their session (especially if your child is young), is a good idea.

 
 
Have an agreement between you and your child
 
The main point to keep in mind is that you’re doing this to help your child, that it’s not punishment, and that you are there to be of support if your child needs it. Both you and your child must feel like your preferences are heard and incorporated into the homework plan. If your child has concerns, make sure they are heard and perhaps find a way to adjust the plan to lessen the issue. For example, if you initially thought doing 30 minutes of English and Maths is a good idea, but your child says (or decides early on) that it’s too much, then suggest cutting it down to 20 might be a good compromise. Or if doing work every day is too much (and the school isn’t requiring work to be done each day), then agreeing to change it to every other day may be a good alternative.
 
The important part is to be clear, but still leave room for a little flexibility. This will help your child understand that there are boundaries, and certain responsibilities must be carried through, but that there is some room for him or her to be heard and for adjustments to be made. Especially at the beginning. Once you have agreed on a routine, then it’s important to make sure the homework plan is upheld.

 
 
Write out goals and timeline
 
The final suggestion is to make sure you have a goal to work towards. Although homework is an ongoing requirement, encouraging your child with small rewards or promising to celebrate once an X amount of time has passed, is important. For example, if your child had a homework plan over the summer, then celebrating the hard work and persistence at the end right before school starts is a great way to show your child that you are proud of him or her, and acknowledge that a lot of effort was put in. It also shows your child that you value academic work and recognise that your child has accomplished a goal that was set. This can continue throughout the year by, for example, going out for an ice cream or a special dinner at the end of each semester. There are countless ways to celebrate, so discussing the reward at the beginning when you are outlining the homework plan is a great way to make sure your child feels like he or she played an important part in the planning and was able to have a say in the reward after all of that hard work.

 

We hope this advice was useful and will inspire you to set up a homework plan with your child. Even though the skill is crucial, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it a fun, rewarding experience for both you and your child. If you’re looking for more similar blogs, why not check out:
 
Fun ideas to help your child boost their imagination and creativity

How to help your child build crucial study skills in 4 simple steps

Help your child get the most out of their secondary education

How to inspire your child to love reading

 

We are always here to answer any questions relating to your child’s education and are always happy to help. If you would like to speak to one of our education consultants or set up a private tutoring plan, to make sure your child’s academic foundations are solid, contact us at 02030867311 or at info@ubertutors.co.uk.