The kids are back at school and the time has come for them to hit you with the dreaded need for homework help! As the middle of September arrives, most primary schools will be sending work to complete at home to support learning. And that, remember, is what it is for – not simply something to make parents and carers cringe over their lack of knowledge, or send us into a frenzied competitiveness to make sure we do homework better than other parents!
But homework, and helping your child with homework, isn’t always easy. Here are our tips to put you on the right track when it comes to homework help.
Have a regular homework help time and place
Not always easy but the consistency will help your child and you. It’s also important to recognise when your child has done enough. If it’s not completed, revisit it later or explain to school what barriers you were struggling to overcome.
The above point should help with this. Fewer distractions will help you and your child concentrate better.
Understand what is expected
Ask the school, or make sure you read any letters about homework expectations. It might not be as onerous as it first looks.
Be positive about homework
Yes, it can be a pain. You may have hated it yourself too, but try to put it in a positive light. It is valuable time for you to begin get an insight into your child’s learning and how they work.
Even if your child is struggling with a concept (or if they’re flying through their work) tell them how proud you are of the effort they are putting in. Have what’s known as a growth mindset – if something is hard it’s a barrier to overcome. Don’t let them say they can’t do it. Encourage them to say they can’t do it, YET.
Remember it’s your child’s work
Teachers don’t want to know how much maths or grammar you can remember from your school days. Support your child, encourage them, ask them questions to help them think but don’t do the work for them. If they can’t do it, add a note to the teacher to that effect, stating what support you have given.
Use online resources
There’s good stuff out there for homework help. But be careful – there is also a lot of rubbish out there too. One of the best (and free) online resources remains BBC Bitesize. And at Arrow-Ed we have a variety of great free resources to support maths homework. We also have fantastic, competitively priced units which provide homework help and follow the learning children are doing in schools. (Visit our shop now to see them).
All of the above can help make homework easier all round. However, the real key to being effective in providing homework help can be for you to ask for help where needed. If your child is struggling with their homework, or you are struggling to give them support, you should contact their teacher, working with them to find a solution.
And one last thing. Make sure they remember to hand it in!