Going back to school after the long summer holiday is always a big adjustment. And homework is one aspect of the school day that often causes stress, conflict and panic – in children and parents alike! This year, do it differently: just follow these tips on how to get kids back into the swing of homework.
Slot it into your routine
If your children regularly leave homework to the last minute or ‘forget’ to revise for a test until the same day, you’ll create a calmer household by scheduling a dedicated homework slot at the same time every day. That way, it’s a predictable part of family life that you can incorporate into your daily routine. It’s a fantastic psychological boost to get the homework out of the way sooner rather than later, so slot it in early so that you can enjoy family time at the weekends.
OFFER SUPPORT, BUT DON’T TAKE OVER
One of the purposes of homework is to let the teacher see how well your child has absorbed what they’ve learnt in class. So, while it can be tempting to correct any mistakes you spot, or even take over a difficult project and do it for them, try not to interfere too much. That doesn’t mean you can’t offer support; parents can get involved by asking questions about the subject, sourcing related books and videos so they can research further, and offering a sympathetic ear when they need to vent. If it all gets too much and your child is truly stuck, write a note to the teacher explaining the issue; they’ll be able to offer extra support to make sense of it all.
PROVIDE BRAIN FUEL
We all need sustenance in order to perform to our best ability. Offer the kids a healthy snack full of slow-release energy before they get down to work. Nuts, fruit, popcorn, flapjacks, smoothies and hummus with carrot sticks are all great brain foods that’ll give your child the boost they need. Don’t forget to keep them hydrated, too, with a jug or bottle of water on their desk.
KEEP EVERYTHING ON HAND
It’s sometimes difficult to get ‘in the zone’ and focus properly on homework. Having everything your child will need in one easily accessible place will help. Maths equipment, pens, pencils, paper and USB storage sticks should all be stored in a dedicated homework station, so that there’s no need to get up and search for that elusive piece of kit. This will also reduce your child’s chances of losing the homework before it’s time to turn it in!
Give them peace and quiet
A dedicated homework space will help to create the environment required for children to concentrate. If you have a study in your house, that’s ideal; if not, a desk in the bedroom is a good substitute.