How to talk to teachers about homework

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Talking to teachers about homework that is set for your child is just one way you can help your child’s school journey.

Parents often don’t know how to talk to a teacher about homework that is being set for their child. Parent’s can feel anxious about the amount, level and frequency of homework being given to their child, particularly if they already have tutoring, therapy services and other extra-curricular learning.

Homework is one of the most common concerns raised by parents and is often a source of frustration for children, families and teachers.

Talk to a teacher about homework

Early in the new school year arrange a time to meet with your child’s teacher. Although many schools hold a meet the teacher night, this individual discussion and negotiation is best conducted on a one-to-one basis with your child’s teacher once the routine for the year has begun.

Find out what the regular expectations and time frames are for homework. Two of the most important questions to ask a teacher about homework are:

1. “For how long do you expect students in your class to spend on homework each week?” Once you know the time expectations always stick to the time frame for homework. Extra time is just stretching out the demanding (and perhaps unrealistic) task.

and

2. “What part of your homework is essential for my child to participate in your class each week?” Start the homework with the sections identified by the class teacher. This will often be the list of spelling words, or a times table, or a weekly speech. If you have a chance to finish anything else, this is wonderful. If not, you have completed the required tasks.

Talk to the teacher about other ways to do homework

Speak to your child’s teacher about any additional supports you already have in place. A speech therapist who sets oral homework each week, a specialist tutor who is practicing times tables and reading, the daily vision training program you are engaged with.

Your child’s teacher many not know about all the extra work that your child is doing at home. Give them context, let them know the things your child is already doing. Some teacher might deem that the work being done is already enough and they might change your child’s individual homework plan with this in mind.

Bring a list of the programs, courses and services that your child has already participated in as well. The more information you can give your child’s teacher the better equipped they are to helping your child learn.

Homework that has helped

Children don’t fit a mould. Each one learns, plays and communicates differently so it only makes sense that homework should be looked at on an individualised level.

Your child may have had experience with a type of homework that works best for them so you should communicate this to their teacher.

List anything that has been particularly successful for your child – being seated at the front of the class to see the board, having access to a quiet space when feeling anxious, needing to know what is happening in the day before it happens (when possible), having extra reading time, these are just examples. Does your child have a homework schedule, talk to the teachers about that.

Remember…

When you talks to teachers about your child’s homework they are just one person. They have a class full of individual students all with individual needs. The clearer you communicate the better they can help with your child.

Also Learning Links has a range of different social skills programs and tutoring services that can help with your child’s learning. Email us and we’ll get back to you with how we can help.