Handy Hints for Homework Help! - Mums NI - A Hub For Parents in Northern Ireland

Handy Hints for Homework Help!

Katie Matthews
Written by Katie Matthews on Sunday, 05 November 2017 Posted in: Your Kids Education

Handy Hints for Homework Help!

The dreaded “H” word – Homework! 

At some stage, most parents will have a battle, tears or tantrums (or a combination of all 3!) when it comes to their child/children completing their homework. Whether we agree with homework personally, if it’s being set by the teacher, we must complete it and teach our kids the valuable life lessons of organisation, responsibility, resilience, respect, hard work,

persistence, ownership and many other important skills.

So what can you do to assist your developing learner?

  • Reward Charts/Incentives: Perhaps they could earn an extra 5 minutes of playtime, a trip to the park, their choice of movie, arts and crafts time, game time with you, sensory or messy play time, an extra bed time story- it doesn’t have to be anything expensive or too time-consuming, you are teaching the idea that when you work hard you earn things you would like.

  • Positive encouragement and support: Regular praise and positive language towards school, homework and their achievements can help to motivate students and foster self-confidence. 

  • Establish a routine: create a space that is calm, quiet and will allow them to fully focus. The more they focus, the quicker the tasks will be completed. Some children like to complete their work as soon as they get home to “get it out the way”, whereas others need a little ‘downtime’ after school to mentally recover and get some fuel on board before continuing. 

  • Chunking: Break down the tasks into short, manageable segments allowing for short breaks in between to get up and move around. 

  • Resources & Materials: Some families are not in a position to buy lots of additional learning aids or resources. Ask your child’s teacher if they have any spare materials lying around that you could either borrow or keep, whether this be worksheets, books or online activities. There are lots of free educational apps you can get for IPads, phones and laptops and many websites that have free resources you can download or print off - www.math-salamanders.com

  • Talk to their Teacher: Whether this be at parents evening or an informal chat, discuss any issues surrounding the homework. This could be a reduction in the amount, an alternative timetable such as an extra day to complete the work, or any “tips of the trade” they could recommend from observing their behaviour and work patterns at school.

  • Fidget/Sensory/Relaxation Aids: Stress balls, stretchy men, slime, fidget cubes, sensory balls, comforter toy/teddy, lava lamps and classical music are all good places to start, if your child finds it hard to sit still or concentrate for extended periods of time. 

  • Flexible seating: Not all children can sit in one place without moving or fidgeting for entire homework sessions. Try allowing them to move away from the table or desk, and allow them to sit on the floor, lay on their stomachs, balance on a yoga/exercise ball, have an extra cushion, sit outside- anything that helps them.

  • Meditation/Mindfulness/Breathing Exercises/Yoga: These are all activities that you can do together as a family. They are new skills that can benefit all ages and can assist us in managing stress levels, reducing anxiety and increase happiness, positivity and confidence. These skills can then be transferred into other areas such as school life, homework, family relationships, mental health and many more. There are free apps you can get for these too, so you are paying nothing for feeling better and more relaxed.

  • Physical exercise: At Excel we are by no means scientists, but we all know there are huge benefits to physical exercise and can help children to release any stress, anxiety or frustration they are feeling and can provide an outlet for extra energy to be used up! When they are more relaxed, (but stimulated from the release of endorphins), their focus and concentration will improve. 

 

Hopefully you will find these tips helpful in winning the homework battle! 

Tagged with: 11 plus, 1to1 tutoring, advice for exam time, advice forum for mums

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Mums NI Author - Katie Matthews
Katie Matthews
Katie Matthews
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