In favour of homework
Most parents dread homework. First, there's the hassle of finding time to fit it in the busy after-school schedule, then there's 'helping' your child complete their homework - and all the battles in between. While there are arguments for and against homework, it's important to remember that it is compulsory at most schools. So here are some of the benefits of homework - just to make you feel better.
Starting good study habits
Starting your child off early with good study habits can teach them the value of prioritising time and being organised. If you timetable in specific homework time, with the reward of playtime afterwards, homework can be seen as a means to an end, rather than a chore.
It's a rare person who's born with an innate sense of good self-discipline - most of us need to learn it. And one of the easiest ways is through committing regularly to completing tasks, such as homework.
Fostering a love of learning
Learning because we're forced to is never fun; but being inquisitive and loving learning is a gift. In a positive environment children can learn to love learning for its own sake. A varied homework routine that's challenging and inspiring can help foster a positive attitude toward learning that'll last throughout their life.
Pinpointing difficulties early
We're often so busy that it can be easy not to notice if our child seems to be struggling in certain areas at school. Helping them out with their homework is the ideal opportunity to pick up on any issues our child may be having, and is one way to help them resolve them.
Reinforcing school work
There's a lot that goes on in a school day, so homework can offer an opportunity to reinforce things kids have learned in school. Whether it's a new word, a different skill, a concept or just something fun - homework can help children develop their understanding of what they've learned in the classroom by repetition and practice at home.
When your child sees that their homework efforts pay off in high marks, gold stickers and impressive report cards they will feel a genuine sense of achievement feeling that can only be truly experienced when a win is thoroughly deserved and derived from hard work and effort. This will plant a desire for success which will serve them well throughout life.
To make homework successful
- Set aside homework time each day - from 30 minutes to 60 minutes depending on your child's level - and mark it on the calendar.
- Prepare a designated homework area: whether it's a desk, or a clear spot at the kitchen table.
- Have a 'homework box' at the ready: filled with pens, pencils, eraser, ruler, calculator and paper for 'working out'. Make sure this box is always stocked and ready to go.
- Switch off distractions such as the television or stereo.
- Make a snack and a drink so your child's ready to go.
- Work out what works best for you. Some children like to get straight into homework, others prefer to play for an hour before knuckling down. Go with what suits your child.
- Set aside time so you can be there for guidance.
- Talk to your child's teacher if you're struggling with your child and homework. There are always options and your teacher may be prepared to help you work out a solution.
- If your child's struggling with spelling, perhaps you could work out some spelling scramblers to help make spelling words fun.
- Plan ahead for projects - so you don't stay up all night the night before.This has some great tips Managing school projects (without doing them yourself!)
- For more tips on making homework easier, read Easy homework tips for parents
Find more homework articles:
- The hands-off homework strategy for parents
- Homework tips for parents
- Teach your child to manage their own study
- Understanding learning styles
- Preparing your child for success at school
- Decoding the homework debate
- Tips to make homework happen
- Improving school success
- 5 ways to keep school kids organised
Discover more Ready, Set: Learn Zone
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot.