How to Help Children with their Homework
One of the most common dilemmas we come across amongst parents in our Triple P groups is how can they support their children to do their homework?
It’s always best to approach homework positively, take some time to work through what your expectations are, create a clear space and consider what rewards and consequences can be used.
Here are the parenting team’s top tips to support your child to complete their homework:
Create a productive work environment
Set up a space in your home where homework can take place, the important thing is that it that it is free from distractions like the TV. Have everything ready, pencils, rubber, rulers, sharpeners – looking for homework equipment is a classic avoidance technique. If you have more than one child it’s a good idea to have separate work spaces for each.
Set a time frame
If procrastination is an issue set a time when homework should be started and what time they need to be finished by. You will need to consider what consequences will need to put in place if this is not done, for example they may have to come home earlier when out with friends or miss out on extra time on the computer or gadget.
Incorporate homework into your daily routine
Having a set time every day when homework is to be completed, this helps children to learn what is expected of them sooner. End the homework activity with something that is relaxing and your child finds enjoyable to reward them for their efforts.
Allow for breaks
If your child is getting frustrated give them a 10 minute break, this will allow for your child to gain a new perspective and feel more refreshed to tackle the problem.
Use a behaviour chart
Sometimes children need a little bit of extra encouragement and behaviour charts offer a great incentive to complete the task. Start by letting your child know what your expectations are and set a few rules to follow which are stated positively. E.g. (tell your child what they should be doing, not what you don’t want them to do) some good examples are: ‘Homework starts after tea.’ ‘Ask for help when you need it.’ ‘Attempt at least one question by yourself.’ Each time your child follows the rules, give them a sticker or stamp for their chart, after your child achieves an agreed amount of stickers you can reward them with something they like. For a guide on how to use a behaviour chart you can look at the parenting team’s blog here.
Make learning fun
Children learn when they are enjoying what they are doing and having fun. Depending on what subject they have for their homework there may be an app or website that supports your child’s learning. Your child’s teacher might be able to recommend some good educational sites.
If using technology make a rule that states only specific websites and apps can be used during homework time.
Listening to music and songs can help children to remember times tables.
For extracurricular activities visit places of interest, museums, zoos, planetariums, nature trails and farms to engage their interest and learning further.