Once children start school, parents have to consider the prospect of homework. While this can be an exciting time as your child begins to learn new things, it can also be pretty challenging. Children can be enthusiastic or resistant to homework depending on their mood.
One thing that can make a big difference are the rules you set and the support you give to your child. At Parentapps, we’ve been asking teachers what the best practice is when it comes to homework.
Here’s our take on the issue:
Talk It Through
As soon as your child starts to be given homework, it’s important to discuss this with them. You should begin to set some boundaries and what is expected. Even if you don’t know a particular subject, you can lay down the lines where you think you can help (without doing all the work for them, of course).
Use the Tools at Your Disposal
Your school may well have a dedicated app that parents can load down onto their smartphones or tablets. This can provide you with lots of information about how to encourage your child and may also have schedules for homework that you can keep track of.
If you need to sign off your child’s homework, make sure you do it right away. Tech can also be great if you need to do a little learning yourself and spot where you child may have gone wrong or help them out when they are stuck.
Once you’ve got into the homework pattern, after a day’s hard work it can be difficult to keep up the enthusiasm. It’s important that you are as encouraging as possible and set certain rules not just for your child but yourself.
Create a Study Area
Space may be limited in your home but it’s a good idea to create a homeworking space that your child can use.
That can either be in their bedroom at a desk (not on the bed itself) or, if you have an office or kitchen area, you can set up a workstation there. The reason for having a dedicated area is that it’s easier to get your child in the right frame of mind where there are no distractions. This also gives you the option of providing learning resources such as a laptop or desktop.
Set Clear Rules
As soon as you can, it’s important to get your child into a reasonably strict routine. Set a time for when homework has to be done, preferably before they watch TV or go on their computer console. Doing this early gets them into good habits.
Understand Your Child’s Learning Style
No one child is the same as another and there will be things that work for them and things that don’t. Within that, you’ll have subject areas they feel comfortable with and those where they struggle with a bit more. Understanding your child’s learning ability requires you to play a pivotal role but it can also mean you are able to offer support when they need it or judge to leave them alone when they are coping.
Finally, it’s always important to discuss homework with your child, be encouraging and take an active part rather than leaving it all to the teachers. It’s a great way to bond and interact and can make a huge difference to the future of your child and their development.