If only I were referring to tidying the house after a late night out, but I’m afraid it’s even worse than that- most parents of school-aged children will have come face to face with the dreaded ‘Homework Horrors’.
“They won’t do their homework and when I try to help, they tell me I’m doing it wrong. It’s causing so many arguments!”
If this is a phrase which rings true in your house, you’re not alone! These words are amongst the most repeated that I hear when I speak to parents.
Apart from revising what’s taught during the school day, homework is also thought to develop the bond between parents and children. But are you really ‘making memories’ as you muse over the grid method? Enjoying jokes about conjunctions? Most likely not- and this is where the difference between reality and theory can fall flat.
“I look at the homework sheets and I have absolutely no idea what to do,” a friend confides. “My daughter’s in Year 4 now, I dread to think what the Year 6 work will look like.”
As parents, our education of many moons ago differs vastly from that of our children’s today. Parents are often unfamiliar with the new and everchanging language and methods of learning.
So how can you help your child with homework when it may have been decades since you’ve done any yourself? Here’s some things you can try:
- Set the Scene
- Teachers provide positive praise for children who complete their learning, show good behaviour and follow instruction. Children are more likely to give their homework a go if there’s a tangible benefit for them. Take a leaf out of the teacher’s book and create a reward chart for homework attempted or completed without a fuss.
- Knowledge is Power
- The school’s website should contain useful documents to help with concepts new to you. For example the mathematics calculation policy will outline different strategies your child is being taught with examples for each year group. Many educators post on sites such as YouTube to explain ideas- don’t be afraid to use these resources.
- Form Good Habits
- Get into a routine of completing homework as soon as it has been given out. I know it’s easier said than done, but if it’s a topic they’ve been learning about at school, your child is more likely to remember if they revise concepts sooner rather than later.
- If your child is still really struggling with homework, talk to the teacher. They may be able to prepare some less difficult, or if it’s too easy, create something that’s more challenging.
Most importantly, go easy on yourself and put it into perspective- you’re not expected to know everything!
And if none of the above works, you may find you’ve got one hungry dog..….