Homework with Parents
Studies in Britain have shown that children who are supported by their families with homework are likely to perform significantly better in academic examinations at 16 years old and beyond than those who do not. If we want our children to be successful in school, family involvement is important.
By helping your child with homework you not only improve his or her chances of achievement in school and in life, but you can help to develop your child's confidence, self-discipline and sense of responsibility.
How can you help?
- By showing an interest you are communicating the fact that school work is important and needs to be taken seriously.
- Encourage children to complete homework to the best of their ability.
- Urge children to watch less television and spend more time studying and reading.
- Express high expectations for children from an early age.
Parents who take an interest in their children's homework have a better knowledge of their education. Additionally, children who are able to complete assignments successfully are likely to develop a good working attitude.
Practical Ways to Help
1. Provide a quiet environment
Provide a quiet, well lit study area. Avoid distractions such as the television and loud music. Encourage other family members to be quiet, especially youngsters.
2. Have a Regular Homework Routine
Obviously household routines differ. Late at night is rarely a good time to study, as children are tired. You may need to be flexible if your child attends outside activities. Try to get a balance, but homework is a priority. If it is being rushed then consider reducing after school commitments or television viewing. Having a routine helps to avoid excuses such as "I'll do it after this programme" or "I forgot." It is important that a child learns to take responsibility rather than having to rely on reminders. Also do not expect your child to work on an empty stomach. No-one works well when they are hungry.
3. Praise Effort and Achievement
It is vital to praise a child for his or her efforts and achievements. Positive comments are more effective than critical ones. A child can become disaffected if continually reminded of shortcomings. Building self-esteem is very important if a child is to try with school work.
4. Show an Interest
Make time to talk about school in daily conversations. Take your child to the library if he or she needs to access reference materials such as books and CD-Roms. Librarians can also guide your child where to look for information. You can give your child a good start if you read with your child and discuss current reading books. Listening to your child read and reading to them every night is a good way to spend quality time with your child and show an interest in their learning.
5. Provide Equipment
Ensure your child has basic equipment such as pens, pencils, a ruler, erasers, a dictionary and writing paper. Other useful items could include paper clips, a calculator, scissors, glue, a thesaurus/dictionary and sticky tape. These should be kept together.
6. Set a Good Example
Children's attitudes to homework are mainly influenced by their parents' guidance and examples. They are more likely to want to study if they see you reading and writing. Remember that educational visits can also support learning.
7. Monitor Homework
Obviously how closely children need to be monitored is dependent on several factors:
- the age of the child
- how able your child is academically
- how independently your child is able to work
It is a good idea to check homework over. It is important to remember that the homework is not yours, but your child's. If you do the assignments you are not helping him or her to become an independent learner.