Updated: Nov 12
Doing homework can cause stress in many households. Here are some tips to make things run a little more smoothly:
Find a quiet spot where your child can do their homework. Try to use the same spot every time so that your child associates this space with focus and learning. Ensure that background noise and distractions are kept to a minimum. For example, T.V., other children, dogs and even people chatting on the phone can be distracting for children. It also can make it harder for them to think through tricky concepts.
Set a designated time for homework each day. It is best if you can make it the same time each day; a good time may be when your child gets in from school. This way your child will get used to the schedule and will know to expect homework at this time.
Encourage your child to start with the tasks that they find most difficult first, it's best for them to approach these tasks when their brain's are fresher. This also means that they can look forward to doing the tasks that they like more later.
Younger children may need assistance with most of their homework but as children get older it is important that they take responsibility for completing their homework themselves. Try explaining to your child that you are there if they need help but emphasize that this is their homework, and they need to try to complete it independently. This will help them become more independent and develop their problem-solving skills.
Helping autistic children:
As autistic children often feel more comfortable knowing what is about to happen, a visual schedule of their evening with homework included can help to lower anxiety and increase their enthusiasm for completing their homework. A visual first/then card can also be helpful. For example, you might show a visual of first homework and then a visual of something they enjoy doing. This works well for encouraging them to complete their work.
Children with additional needs:
For children with additional needs homework can be challenging. Sometimes, children with additional needs learn best using a different approach. For example, a visual learner may remember things better by drawing images than by rote learning. If your child is having difficulty, discuss it with their class teacher and do some research on what might work best for your child’s needs – there may be a different learning strategy that would make their life much easier!
Check with your child’s teacher how long their homework should be taking them. If
your child is focused and trying their best for this length of time but still isn’t completing their work, it’s worth discussing it with their teacher.
Offering your child lots of encouragement to complete tasks can make a huge difference to their enthusiasm for homework. Making sure to offer lots of praise when they try their best is also important; it doesn't matter if the work isn't perfect - it's the amount of effort that counts! A reward of something to look forward once homework is finished can change a child's whole attitude towards getting their work done!