Managing Your Time
Homework is part of a child’s daily life. After the school day having to sit down and do homework can cause stress for all the family. Some children enjoy homework but others can find it frustrating, because homework tasks are beyond their skills and ability or simply take too long. Setting smaller amounts of work and/or allowing extra time will often help. Talk to your child about what they are finding difficult or why it is taking too long. Is the work too difficult? You should discuss this with the teacher in the first instance to see what can be done to help.
Hints and Tips
- Think about when is the best time for homework?
- Does your child need a rest after school before starting homework?
- Is he going to a club that night? If so can homework be done at another time?
- Get a routine that suits your family. If there is after school activities maybe do homework another day.
- Give breaks between tasks.
- Don’t rush homework; quality is more important than getting it finished quickly.
- Go over homework with your child, so you both know what to do.
- Read instructions aloud, if necessary, practise the first example or two with them.
- Help your child to think of ideas for writing tasks and projects before they start work.
- Teach your child to use the computer for work as they get older.
- If they are slow to complete work, see how much work they can do in five minutes and then use this to figure out how long the work that they are given will take them. If it’s too much work speak to the teacher.
- Give your child lots of praise as they complete homework tasks.
- Find the right homework space for your child; do they work better at the table or in their bedroom? Or while they are having a snack.
- A timer could be useful to aid focus and attention but set a realistic time for doing the homework.
- Make sure they have the correct tool for home and school - Use two pencil cases, one at home and one in the school bag so you never run out.
- Make homework to do list, cross things off when completed.
- Could a diary be used or planner to keep a note of homework and when it’s due and fit it in to family life.
- Breaks homework task up into manageable chunks – and have breaks in-between if needed.
Have you tried?
- Colour coding of subjects can greatly assist organisation and planning.
- Ask a teacher or friend to check the homework is written down correctly, or ask teachers to give them written homework instructions.
- Liaise with teachers regularly to check homework tasks and classwork are correct and have been handed in.
- For the next school day - pack the school bag the night before.
- Allow your child to have something nutritional to eat before starting on homework.
- Turn off the TV - but you could have music on if they find it helpful.
- If the child is distracted by noise, try giving them headphones to wear.
- Depending on age a reward chart may helpful.
- Make sure the goals you set are easily achievable to begin with; with a younger child this may be as short as 5 minutes.
- Don't give your child the answer in order to get a task finished. Instead, explain how to find the information or help them problem solve the answer.
- Don't let homework become a chore. Keep it fun and make it a special time that you both look forward to.
- Provide lots of praise for completing even small tasks within the homework.