Homework is a tool to help children learn. It is a means of revising what is learnt in school. Good homework habits includes organizing a proper schedule of study. A fixed time and place is a good way to organize a routine.
Homework is an important tool to help children learn and develop good work habits that will serve them well through life. There are several ways in which parents can help their children gain maximum benefit from homework while reducing the stress usually associated with getting homework done. Here are a few practical suggestions:
a. Get involved
It is a proven fact that those children whose parents are involved in their education do better in school than those whose parents are not involved. Helping with your child's homework is good way for you to develop an understanding of how well your child is coping with schoolwork. Besides, being available at homework time can be a wonderful way to spend quality time with your child and share the learning experience with him.
b. Set up a home routine
Do this in consultation with your child. As your child grows older, listen to him, give him options and involve him in setting up a home routine. Negotiate a timetable for activities at home- with free time, homework, dinner, chores, T.V viewing, reading etc pencilled in. Once he agrees to a schedule, stick to it religiously. Setting up a routine is a great way of bringing structure into your child's life. It helps you to avoid engaging in daily battles with him to get him to do his work.
c. Organize homework time
A parent's main role when it comes to helping with homework is as an organizer rather than a subject specialist.
- Fix a place in your home that is comfortable and free from distractions where your child can do homework.
- Identify the time that best suits your child. A meal and a break after coming home from school might be a good idea for most children. However, some children might want to get started on assignments as soon as they get home. For children who have a difficulty with concentrating for long periods it might be advisable to divide the study time into shorter sessions.
- Get your child to begin homework sessions by listing out all the work to be done that day. (Remember that this list should not only have work assigned by the teacher but also include reviewing of what is learned in class each day.) As each task is completed have him tick it off the list.
- End homework sessions by having your child make sure that all the work on the list is complete. Organizing books and materials for the next day and packing his school bag could be a good way of ending homework time.
d. Encourage independence
"How much should I help my child with homework?" is a question frequently asked by parents. The degree to which parents need to help their children with homework will vary with the age of their child and the nature of the assignment. However, keeping these guidelines in mind would be helpful:
Homework plays an important part in a child's learning. By getting involved with your child's homework, you can promote learning at home and help your child acquire good work habits that will last lifelong.
- Remember that it is your child's homework and not yours- NEVER do your child's homework or supply him with the answers. This will encourage an unhealthy dependence on you and give your child the feeling that he is incapable of managing his work independently. Additionally, his teacher will not get accurate feedback about what he has understood if you are the one answering the questions.
- Monitor the amount of time your child is spending on homework and the level of difficulty of the work. If all your child seems to have time for at home is completing assignments or if he is unable to complete the work without lots of help from you it would be a good idea to discuss this with his teacher.