Tuesday Tips – Surviving Homework

using scrabble to help spelling words

I have to say being a teacher and setting homework is so much easier then being the parent who needs to help their child complete it! But last week was a success. My daughter finished all of her homework without any arguments and we still had time for some family fun. Hurray!

So how did we do it? Here are some tips which I’m going to share (and remember myself for next week):

  • Make a plan – Although the reality of homework is also marking its place in a child’s independence of organising themselves, they do still need advice. Look ahead to see what needs completing first. Make a plan to limit the last minute panic.
  • Schedule a regular homework time and break up the work in manageable chunks. Take a 15 minute break every hour if it’s a long project.
  • Choose your timings right – Some pieces of homework such as project work will take more time then other smaller tasks such as word or sentence level. Be realistic as to how much time there is in the day before after school clubs start or it’s time for dinner. Set realistic expectations.
  • Create a comfortable setting – Make sure your child has a well-lit area to complete homework. Keep supplies such as paper, pencils, glue, scissors within reach.
  • Feed their brain – Helena is so hungry when she comes home so I always make sure she has a healthy snack and drink before she starts.
  • Be encouraging – There are certain topics which I know will excite Helena more then others. So I always make a point of being enthusiastic right from the start. Praise their work and effects throughout. Make an achievement wall and showcase their great assignments, check their homework through and make yourself available for any questions they may have.
  • Eliminate distractions – It’s so easy for Florence to jump on the table and ask for her homework at the same time as Helena make a start on hers. Already we have chaos! So I print out some fun colouring pages for her from Twisty Noodle which keeps her quietly busy.
  • Trust your instinct – There are times when I know it’s just not the right time to do homework. Getting some fresh air, a walk, a jump of the trampoline all help dust the cobwebs off Helena before she sits down to it.
  • Use different mediums – Particularly for maths homework, we use a variety of objects around the house to help work out word problems or division sums. Kids love to help look around too to see what they’d like to use.
  • Set a good example – Children are more likely to do their reading homework if they see you with a book in your hand.
  • Have patience (and lots of it) – It’s so easy to say but patience is a virtue and it’s imperative during homework time. If your child really isn’t getting it then rephrase the question or give them another medium to use.
  • Talk to the teacher – Encourage your child to talk to the teacher is he/she doesn’t quite understand. Ensure you can talk to the teacher too. If your child doesn’t quite get something tweak the assignment slightly (making sure of course the teacher is ok with this).
  • Know your school – Read the school’s homework policy and know what they are expecting. Know where you can help out and if you should write a note communicating any issues or praises.
  • Relax – It’s so easily said then done but children pick up on your anxiety too.

I hope this short list has helped in some way. Please share any tricks and tips you have too.

Vanessa x


Comments (2)

April 12, 2016

Great tips, Vanessa. I especially like the point about breaking the homework or project up into manageable chunks – that’s a great way to make sure your kid (and you, for that matter) don’t get overwhelmed.

Best regards,

April 26, 2016

Hello Vanessa, thanks for the above tips.. When the exams countdown starts, students start panicking. So above tips can be helpful. Planning the homework, dividing into small chunks taking small short breaks are very easy steps a student can follow. If exams are approaching and students have tough assignments to do, they can take help from online tutoring websites. Thanks!!

Leave a Comment