If you have considered the first 5 tips on homework, here are a few more important questions to ask. Homework does not have to continue to cause you and your family nightmares!
It’s easy to join the ‘homework should be banned’ advocates, but homework is here to stay. Homework should certainly not be excessive and it should not be busy work. It should be aimed at helping your child do better at school. Think about the following questions and if homework is still an out-of-control-beast in your home, do contact your child’s school for advice.
Questions to ask…
Has your child suddenly developed an aversion to homework?
Check that there isn’t something upsetting your child. Are there problems within the friends, bullying, a misunderstanding with a teacher or some other issue at school? If you can’t find out what is causing this behaviour, speak confidentially to your child’s teacher. Something may have happened at school that you are unaware of.
Is your child simply pushing the boundaries?
Sometimes, particularly in the last year or two at primary school or the early years in secondary school, children can begin to rebel a little. It’s important not to let homework and agreed upon family responsibilities slip. This will only lay the foundation for some very shaky times down the track especially when the teen hormones really start flowing.
Have you praised your child for making a good effort?
There must be times when your child has completed homework well. Give praise when it’s due. Praise the neatness, the content, what has been expressed, the art work etc. Find something that you can genuinely praise but, above all, praise the effort. ‘I’m proud of you. I can see that you really have taken a lot of care and effort to do this. Good job’
Is your child too tired?
Children who aren’t getting enough sleep often don’t have the energy to come home and do homework to a satisfactory standard. Make sure that your child isn’t going to bed and then quietly playing computer games when you have left. If your child is irritable as well as falling behind with homework, double check that he is getting enough sleep.
Is your child’s health affecting school work and homework?
Apart from sleep, children need a good diet to be able to function well at school and at home. Energy levels will fall when children skip breakfast and then have a busy day at school. They will be more tired than other children who have had a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast to kick off the day.
Don’t give up. There will be a solution. Remember, if you have tried everything, go back to speak to your child’s teacher. Homework needs to be done but it doesn’t need to dominate your home. With the teacher’s help you may be able to find what’s not working and come up with a workable solution to keep everyone happy.
It’s important to discover what is going wrong and establish a sound routine for the completion of homework as early as possible. As children progress up to the final years at secondary school, more homework is expected each year. And students who lack the discipline and the skills to complete homework well will not be equipped to experience success and happiness at school.