As children return to school this week, parents are not only worried about school fees but also school related “things” like homework.
But why is homework such a big deal for children? Why should you be keen about homework?
Homework is set for a number of reasons; the main reason being that it encourages children to learn on their own and also to improve their own independent learning skills.
In other words homework is set to encourage children to work on their own and not simply rely on a teacher setting them work within a classroom environment.
In addition to this homework is designed to help back up what is learned in the classroom and to show that the child in question is capable of understanding – and is understanding – what is being taught to them within a classroom environment.
Depending on the age of your child will depend on how much homework he or she is set during the course of a school week.
Of course it is important to remember that homework is not only a means of allowing your child’s teachers to see how they are doing; it is also designed so that you – the parent – can also see how they are progressing.
The amount of time spent during the course of a week producing homework depends entirely on the age of your child.
As many parents know trying to keep a child interested in something like homework especially when there are such things as video games, television shows and the internet to distract them can be difficult.
It is important to remember that your child has a limited attention span especially when the subject might not be something that particularly grabs their attention.
With this in mind it is reasonable to allow them to take breaks if they are struggling and also to spend time alongside them trying to offer guidance and support where possible.
If you are in any doubt as to the amount of homework your child has then you should contact their form teacher or head teacher and ask as to how much homework is being allocated during the course of a week; this is not an infringement on their ability to learn but simply a helping hand at a time in their life when it is needed most.
Some general things parents/ adults can do, include:
• Establish a routine for meals, bedtime and study/homework
• Provide books, supplies, and a special place for studying
• Encourage the child to "ready" himself for studying (refocus attention and relax)
• Offer to study with the child periodically (call out spelling words or do flash cards)
An established study routine is very important, especially for younger school age children. If a child knows, for example, that he is expected to do homework immediately after supper prior to watching television, he will be better able to adjust and ready him/her self than if he/she is allowed to do homework any time he pleases.
All children need their own place at home to do homework. The space does not need to be big or fancy, but it needs to be personal so that they feel it is their “study place.”
Remember, learning styles differ from child to child, so the study place should allow for these differences. Parents can take a walk through the house with their child to find that special corner that is just right.