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Guide to Homework

A Parent’s Guide to Homework

If you support your child with homework tasks, your child’s confidence and self-discipline will develop as well his or her chances of achievement in primary school, secondary school and life! If we want our children to be successful then family involvement is vital.

So how can parents help?

  • Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure homework is completed away from any distractions. The area should be quiet, well lit and away from the TV.
  • Try to establish a routine for homework. Find a regular time when your child is alert, not tired nor hungry. Make sure your child is not rushed. Encourage your child to take responsibility for homework tasks, so that they do not rely on reminders from parents. It is a good idea for parents to check the homework task as soon as it is set, so that any planning can be made in case the task is an extended one.
  • Provide plenty of praise for his or her efforts. It is important to build a child’s self-esteem.
  • Talk through the task with your child to make sure they understand it. Breaking the task down into manageable sections can make the work seem less daunting. Talking is a key part of learning.
  • Make sure your child has all the equipment needed for the task.
  • Be a role model. Children’s attitudes to homework can be influenced by what they see their parents do. Children are more likely to want to work if they see their parents reading and writing at home. Children’s interests and curiosity can be stimulated through family visits to museums, parks and the like.
  • Monitor homework. The amount of input from parents will depend on the task and the age and ability of the child. Make sure the child does their own work as they need to learn from their own mistakes and to think for themselves. Your job is to make suggestions, answer questions and help with directions.
  • Get to know the teachers – and what they are looking for. Attend school events, such as Parents Evenings to get to know your child’s teacher.
  • Stay calm. Getting angry often just makes the situation feel worse. The more positive you can be about homework in general the better. Praise your child when they have completed a section of the task. A little encouragement can go a long way.

Problems with homework?

Sometimes, issues will arise over homework. It is always a good idea to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss any problems that homework may be causing.