Homework is one of the most contentious activities in the family home. Let’s face it, most parents get sick of the fighting or downright stubborn refusals; most kids can think of ninety thousand things they’d rather be doing. Believe it or not, it is worth all of the nagging and frustration.
Education research suggests the following benefits of an acceptable homework load far outweigh the negatives:
- Increased self esteem – completing homework helps your child realise they can do work on their own and achieve set goals
- Organisational skills – completing daily homework or long-term assignments lays the foundations for time management and project completion skills
- Responsibility – make your child accountable for their homework and they will assume responsibility for its completion.
You can help your child by:
- Setting a good example – do your ‘homework’ while they do theirs. Sit with them and read a book or check your ‘to do’ list. If they need to ask you a question, you are there to help without hovering
- Don’t do their homework – make sure you are there to offer advice or provide guidance, but don’t do assignments or homework for your child. This allows your child to shirk their responsibility
- Support your child when they are struggling – watch out for signs of failure. If your child is regularly unable to manage the homework load alone, approach the class teacher for advice
- Reward progress – when your child has made demonstrable progress, make sure they know that you are proud of their achievement
When children reach High School, they are expected to juggle numerous assignments, a busy class schedule and extra-curricular activities. Children who develop good homework habits in the primary years will have the organisational skills, confidence and responsibility to cope with the transition.