If your child is struggling to complete their homework, you may benefit from the services of a private tutor. However, there are several things to can try first – we hope the list below is of help to you. If you are considering the tutor option, please use our contact form to arrange a free consultation with one of our tuition experts.
An opportunity to engage
Homework is the time where you get the most interaction with your children’s schoolwork. So talk to their teacher, ask them what they expect from homework and how they use it in their classroom. (You can always write notes in the margins or homework diary)
A routine time and place
Structure is vital for successful homework. Have a designated homework area. This should be free of distractions, like a loud TV or meddlesome siblings, and have everything to hand: pens, pencils, crayons, glue et al. There should also be a homework time. You know when your child works best. Some need a break and some play first, others would rather get it done early. Either way, ensure that there is a regular time.
Not all homework is for the next day, get used to having a homework diary and helping your child to plan longer-term projects. Don’t leave everything to the last minute!
You should never be doing your child’s homework for them. However, it is a great idea to talk to your children about their homework. Not only does the act of explaining reinforce the knowledge that they have learned in the classroom, but also by displaying engagement you actively motivate your child in their work. They will want to impress you.
Children should be proud of the work they have done at home. Put a piece of homework that gets a great mark on the fridge. Put a piece of artwork on the wall. Fostering pride in their work builds confidence as well as encouraging them to do their homework well.
You can be a good example
When your children see you diligently getting on with your work, or doing the accounts, or even just intently reading a book, it normalizes the whole process of homework for them. Often what you do can have a lot more influence than what you say.
Your child needs to get used to working alone. However, a homework club once or twice a week with other children in their class is great. Sometimes a classmate will be able to explain a tricky problem in a much more relatable manner than you. It also gives you an evening off!
Classrooms of the future?
In Finnish schooling, much of the work of initial learning is done at home. Then in the classroom the teacher acts as a mentor, helping the children with the things that they couldn’t understand by themselves. Although this hasn’t been rolled out in British classrooms, you can help your child to prepare for tomorrow’s lessons by skimming over the work in advance. This is a great discipline to learn for life.
Above all, remember that homework is not the be all and end all of a child’s life. Teachers can over prescribe homework. Pushing back, or questioning homework is fine. Homework is important, but so are other after school activities like clubs and sports and simply enjoying the freedom of childhood. Everything, even homework, in moderation!
For more advice on how to maximise your child’s learning, you can read our Advice Guide for Parents.