In this blog, Adele Payne, parent and International Manager at Edmentum International, is exploring how you as a parent can encourage healthy homework habits in your child, even from a young age. Here, she’s put together some handy tips and tricks for parents to consider when helping their children with their homework.
I’m Adele, a parent and International Manager here, and I know first-hand the struggles that can be faced when trying to motivate and encourage a child to do homework. Read my tips below on how you can directly help with this.
1. Set up a study space
A simple tip would be to make sure that your child has a place where they can concentrate to help them focus on their homework tasks. In this space, your children should have what they need such as pens, rulers, etc., with decent lighting and most importantly, it should be a comfortable place for them to do schoolwork. As well as this, the area should be a place where there is little distraction, such as somewhere where people aren’t walking in and out of.
2. Make time for homework
Depending on when your child is set homework, you could set a homework time so your child has a routine when it comes to doing it. It’s also worth communicating with your child about their homework and seeing if you can help in any way with larger tasks and asking them how long they think they will need to spend on them. You can then work on any larger tasks together and break them down into smaller pieces, as well as create a schedule for each piece to help manage them.
3. Set examples with technology
It’s also important to set examples with technology and you can help with this by turning off your phone, social media and TV whilst your child is doing homework. It’s a good idea to set this example so your child doesn’t want to get distracted by them either. When they turn technology off too, they won’t receive notifications and alerts when doing their homework, which will help with not breaking concentration and focus.
4. Complete tasks simultaneously
It’s a good idea to work on some of your “homework” tasks at the same time as your child such as bills or reading quietly. You’ll be setting an example and by modelling concentration-based tasks like this, you will show your child that they should focus when doing homework too. To make this tip even more effective, you could link your tasks to your child’s homework, so they can see how their homework will benefit them in the future and real world.
5. Give advice and support
There will be some homework tasks that require parental support but homework in general is designed to give students practice, so if your child comes to you with questions, guide them in the right direction by showing them your thought process. This can help them become more confident to do a task independently. However, especially when you know an answer but not necessarily the teacher’s directions, it may be best to hold back on giving guidance. In these instances, you could coach your child to remember what the teacher said rather than the way you would answer it, as this could cause more confusion.
6. Have a “support list” handy
There will be some homework tasks where your child may be really confused or has forgotten a completion date set by their teacher. When this occurs, speaking to a friend or classmate from class can be a good idea. So if your child ever needs clarification, it could be a good idea to keep handy three or four classmates to call upon.
7. Contact the class teacher
When it’s right, you could connect with your child’s teacher as all teachers have their own ways of approaching homework. Whether it’s how it’s handed in, or an incentive system they’ve set up, you could ask your child’s teacher what their homework expectations are and how they can best support your child. Having this knowledge can support you in seeing where your child may have any difficulties and help you with motivating them.
8. Listen and provide support
There will probably be some days when your child comes back from school and has found it tough. When this happens, you should allow your child to speak about it and listen to any frustrations, as well as empathize with them to help understand any feelings. This will help your child regain focus and follow any suggestions more readily. When your child has spoken about it, help them by encouraging them to begin a task and focus on what needs to be completed.
9. Set a positive attitude
Finally, by modelling a positive attitude toward homework, you can help your child view it in this way too. By getting involved and showing an interest in your child’s homework, as well as telling them how that homework will help them in school and provide a new skill, you can encourage your child to complete tasks. By boosting perseverance through any tougher tasks too, your child will be better placed to see homework through. You need to remind them that growth doesn’t happen without some initial tougher times.
With these tips, you as a parent should be able to motivate, inspire and encourage your child to complete their homework.