Q. Homework can be stressful for myself and my children almost every day. Free tips?
A. I love Fridays. Not only is it the weekend but it also means no homework. Many parents ask me for advice on how to get their children to complete their homework. This can be a cause of stress in many homes. So what can you do to make life easier for both yourself and your child and also make sure that the homework gets done?
The first thing you can do is make sure the homework room is a nice place to be and user friendly. By this I mean the room should be a nice temperature and without unnecessary noise or distractions eg. t.v., phones. The homework table should be without clutter and be large enough to accommodate several books at a time.
Aim to start homework at the same time every day so that the child gets accustomed to the routine. The child could have a small snack before starting as they may be hungry after a long day. Place a time limit on how long the homework should take. There are few things worse than having homework dragged out over an entire evening. Talk with your child’s teacher or other parents in the class to check what the recommended time that should be spent on homework each night is. Homework can actually be a positive experience when managed correctly.
The important thing to remember is that the homework is your child’s responsibility and not yours. While you can be in the room and help if they are really having difficulty, you cannot do your children’s homework for them. Your child has to take the responsibility for their own homework.
They will have to deal with the consequences of undone homework in school tomorrow, not you.
If you have an older child in secondary school, they will let you know how much involvement they require from you with homework. Sometimes they will need none. Respect this decision but remain available to assist if necessary.
Remember, encouraging and acknowledging their efforts is more important than results.