The completion of homework is an issue in many families with parents having difficulty getting their children to initiate and complete homework. However, before we endeavour to provide you with guidelines to do so, there are some important issues to be aware of.
Homework ought to be a purposeful learning experience directly related to the work done in the classroom. It should be interesting and stimulating.
The duration of set homework should vary depending upon the child’s age:
Kindergarten: no structured homework,
Years 1–2: up to 15 minutes 3-4 nights per week,
Years 3-4: up to 30 minutes 3-4 nights per week,
Years 5-6: up to 40 minutes 3-4 nights per week.
It is essential to remember that children work a long day at school and it is absolutely essential that they have time for free play.
An important goal of education is to instil in children a love of learning. Homework can negate this if children come to see it as a necessary evil.
Parents’ Guide to Helping with Homework
Take an interest in your child’s schoolwork and homework.
Make yourself aware of your child’s homework requirements.
Ensure your child has a quiet and comfortable place to work.
Encourage your child to use a diary to record homework tasks.
Make sure materials such as pens, scissors, dictionary, etc. are at hand.
Discuss with your child the regular evening routine and negotiate dinner time, homework time, television time, etc.
Study Time (for older students)
Have a wall calendar with major assignments, tests, etc. on it.
Work out a weekly study timetable around other family events.
(Pin this on the wall too.)
Daily work should come directly from the homework diary.
Procrastination and Time Wasters
Avoid putting off starting by having a set starting time.
Have your child schedule something easy and/or enjoyable for the beginning of the study session.
Identify time wasters (e.g. television, internet, computer games, riding bike, phone calls, etc.) and negotiate with your child other times to do these things (revise timetable).
Praise and reward your child for self discipline in getting started and doing homework.
Beware – by constantly harassing the parent with questions and continually seeking assistance, a child can usually get the parent to almost do all the homework!