While your child does homework, be available to help but resist the urge to provide the correct answers or complete the assignments yourself.
Homework is an opportunity for children to learn and for parents to be involved in their children’s education. However, helping children with homework isn’t always easy, especially when you’ve had a long day at work and all you want to do is sit down and relax.
Homework can take many forms. For example, primary school children might be asked to do worksheets or longer projects, do some reading or writing, or collect interesting objects to share with the class. High school children are more likely to get different homework tasks or assignments for each subject. These might be maths activities, writing tasks, research projects, practical or creative tasks and so on.
Whether your child is a perfectionist or a procrastinator, every student will encounter days when they struggle to complete their homework. Here are some pointers on how parents can help ease homework struggles:
Get to know your child’s teachers
Attend school events such as parent-teacher conferences and make it a daily habit to read your child’s school diary to ensure they are up-to-date with their homework.
Create a homework-friendly zone
Ensure that your child has a well-lit area in which to do their schoolwork. Stock up on extra paper, pencils, glue, and scissors so there isn’t a mad rush if they need to complete an assignment but don’t have the necessary stationery.
Establish a regular study time
Some children work best in the afternoon, while others prefer to do homework in the evenings. Keep in mind that young children can concentrate for only about 15 minutes at a time before they need a brief break. Even older children need breaks. When it’s break time, you can encourage your child to do some neck stretches, arm shakes and finger wriggles or play outside for a few minutes.
Assist your child in developing a ‘homework strategy’
When tackling a large project or assignment, encourage your child to divide the work into manageable parts.
Limit distractions as much as possible
Turn off the TV and discourage your child from making and receiving social telephone calls during homework time.
Don’t complete your child’s homework for them
Your child will not learn if you’re the one giving them the answers each time. Parents can make suggestions and provide guidance. However, it is a child’s responsibility to finish their homework.
Lead by example
Have your children ever witnessed you handling your work projects or deadlines effectively and timeously? Children are more inclined to emulate their parents than to take their advice.
Recognise and appreciate your child’s efforts
Give your child lots of positive praise and encouragement and congratulate them when they take the initiative to do their homework.
Seek assistance if your child is having difficulty with their homework
Discuss homework problems with your child’s teacher. Some children may need extra lessons if they struggle to complete homework relating to a particular topic or subject.