Homework can be a stressful part of a family’s week. Here are a few tips to help make positive homework and study habits that can benefit your children long into the future.
Start with a homework plan – Finding time to get homework done each week can be tricky between extracurricular activities and family commitments. Try to schedule a set amount of time to do homework each day at a time that works for both you and your kids.
Give kids a break – After a long day of school it’s recommended that kids have a short break before settling down to do their homework. Encourage kids to play outside and burn some energy.
Set a place to do homework – Designate an appropriate place for each child to do their homework. Younger children can benefit from doing their homework in a living area with a parent available for help, while older kids may prefer a distraction free environment like a desk in their bedroom or in the study. It’s beneficial for the whole family to work quietly at the same time, encourage young children without homework to colour in or play quietly in their own bedroom to minimise distraction.
Don’t be too helpful – It’s important to support your child with their homework, but don’t do it for them. When children first start school, you will need to be more involved in their homework as they may need help to read and understand instructions. Focus on explaining to them what the question is asking, rather than answering the questions. As kids get older they may need some assistance to get them on the right track. No matter the age, remember homework is about developing independent learners. Encourage your children to work on their homework as independently as possible from the start.
Ask the right questions – If your child is having trouble with a maths question, rather than taking over, ask questions to allow your child to explain the problem they are working on. This can help you to identify their area of confusion.
Some good questions to ask are:
• What is the problem you’re working on?
• What does the question say?
• Are there any words in the question that you don’t understand?
• Where do you think you should begin?
• Can you find some help in your textbook or notes?
• What have you done so far?
• Is there anything that you already know that might help with this particular problem?
Remember –Beyond the important curriculum outcomes, working independently on homework helps children to develop crucial problem solving skills. It’s important children learn how to seek out answers without assistance from parents and teachers. Encourage children to use the countless resources available within Mathletics.