If you have a child who’s reluctant to do their homework, it puts stress on precious family time. Grownups realise that homework can aid a child’s understanding of their classwork whilst helping them develop self-discipline and independent learning skills – but try explaining that to a tired and frustrated ten-year-old!
These tips should make homework time a little easier:
• Get it over and done with
Your child needs a break after school, but if you leave homework until too late in the evening they’ll be tired and may resent school work infringing into their chill-out time. try to aim to complete homework tasks between 3pm and 5pm. That way your child (and you) have the whole evening ahead.
• Stick to a Routine
If you can, plan homework for the same time every day.
• Help but not too much
Sometimes your child might need a little help with a topic they find difficult – but try not to ‘over help’, this can take away from the child’s learning process. Try completing the first problem with them and then encouraging them to tackle the rest on their own. Another great technique is showing them a similar problem they completed in lesson time, this can remind them of how they solved it earlier and hopefully they realise they don’t need your help after all.
• Change the scene
A change of environment can help your child focus, this can be as easy as a change of room or desk. This works really well if you have a space in your house reserved for ‘grown-ups’ such as mum’s office.
• Ensure your child has everything they need
Make sure they have their pencil case, textbooks, etc all to hand – this will prevent them from having to stop mid-task to find something and then losing concentration.
• Get your own homework done
Children like to imitate their parents so whilst they’ll doing their homework use that time to check your emails, or do some computer ‘housekeeping’, finances etc., if your child sees that you’re engaged in a focused activity they will be encouraged to settle and get on with their own work.
- Hard vs Easy Homework
Help your child figure out what is hard homework and what is easy homework and then get that hard homework done first whilst your child’s brain is at its most alert.
- Treats and Rewards
Who doesn’t work better when there’s a little carrot involved? This could be a trip to the cinema, park, bowling… a little incentive can go a long way and planning something fun for the family at the weekend can help keep your child motivated through the week.