01 Apr 2022By Kate Bibby
Why is homework important?
As children get older, homework is a hugely important aspect of school life. As well as counting towards final grades and assessments, it encourages:
- independent learning
- time management
Homework offers parents an insight into your child’s progress at school and can be a great way to involve yourself in their academic development.
However, children can be reluctant or find it hard to motivate themselves to start and complete homework. The key to success? Establish good habits with them from the get-go.
Here are our top tips for creating a homework routine that can help make your child’s time spent on it productive and well-structured.
1. Designate a space for homework
This will help get your child into the right mindset when setting out to do homework. Make sure it’s well-lit, away from any distractions, and has everything they need.
Our survey found that most children do homework either at the kitchen table (especially if they’re younger) or in their bedroom (more so as they get older). If you have more than one child, it may help if they do homework in different areas of the house, so they don’t distract each other.
2. Don’t simply dictate a routine
Homework is all about independent thinking – letting your child give their input on when, where, and how they want to do their homework will help them make the most of the time. Everyone learns differently, so try to be flexible around their preferences as much as possible.
3. Set a regular homework time
Schedule this around when your child is most receptive to learning. For many children, this is straight after school when they are still in a learning mindset. Some, though, may first need some rest or play time before they can concentrate again. Whenever you decide is the right time, once set, try to stick to it as much as possible so that your child is mentally prepared for homework time each day.
4. Establish clear rules
Electronics, games, or other distractions can easily disrupt a routine. Ban them during homework time or make a rule that they’re only allowed once all homework for the day is completed. Win-win!
5. Only help your child when they really need it
It’s great to help your child get organised and set up to do homework, but they need to do the actual work themselves. If they get stuck, give them pointers on how best to figure out a solution without telling them the answer directly.
6. Be present and interested in what they’re doing
Asking questions about your child’s assignments will make them feel like it’s a valuable use of time and encourage them to take pride in their work.
7. Give them encouraging feedback
Praise and acknowledgement will incentivise your child to keep trying their best. If they get something wrong, don’t criticise; instead, work through it together, while emphasising their other strengths.
8. Keep an open dialogue with their teachers
The more a teacher knows, the better they can support your child. If there are recurring problems around doing homework, speak to your child’s teacher and try to workshop a solution together with them.
In summary, it’s always a good time to get into good homework habits. The more it becomes an ingrained part of your and your child’s daily routine, the less it will feel simply like a chore to tick off the to-do list.
Remember, every family is different and there’s no single right way – try out different ideas to find out what works best for you and your child.