How many of you get that dread when opening your child’s homework or book bag?
It’s Friday afternoon, you’ve got the kids home and they’re having a snack. You now have two choices:
- Open the bag and face the music
- Put it off until Sunday evening
What do you do? Because you probably know (painfully well) what’s hiding in there…
Often there’s a letter that needed responding to yesterday. And a overdue library book (that’s not been opened) is lurking in there. Not to mention, the dreaded maths problems and spellings.
As much as we hate it our child’s homework, it’s not going away
I despise homework. There I said it. An English teacher who hates homework. There’s no point in it. It rarely gets done. And it’s a waste of everyone’s time (parents especially).
It doesn’t matter what I think though because it’s a necessary evil of your child progressing through school. And it’s not going away.
8 Easy hacks to help you face your child’s homework
So, how can you deal with the ever-mounting pile of the ghastly stuff? Easy. Follow our advice and help to face the dreaded task of checking your child’s homework for the weekend.
How to tackle the homework head on:
1. Ask your child’s teacher for the weekly homework schedul
Every school has one. Sometimes they’re available on the school website. If not, contact your child’s teacher and ask for one. This way, you can plan for it and more importantly control it. Instead of letting it control
2. Don’t put off the inevitable
As tough as it is, getting homework done on the day (or near enough) it’s set means it doesn’t all pile up. Just like that basket of washing, doing little bits every other day means you don’t have a mountain of it to face on Sunday. None of you (and if you do then you’re practically Wonder Woman) have the energy to do that every week!
3. Schedule a time
Whether it’s in the morning or before dinner, allocating a set time every day for homework means you and your child know when it’s coming. No nasty surprises, no arguments. Plus, when there’s days when none is set (hopefully) it’s bonus free time (woo hoo!)
4. Take breaks
This is especially important if it’s a hard bit of homework. Take 5 minutes, drink some water, get some fresh air and come back to it.
5. Do the hardest and longest ones first
This way you and your child know that the toughest bit is done. Making you both feel motivated and accomplished (yay!)
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s been a little while since you were at school (don’t take it personally). What your child’s learning today’s way more advanced than what we were taught at their age (trust me). If there’s a piece that neither of you understand, write a note to the teacher explaining the situation. Make sure this is on the day it’s set (or close to) so there won’t be any nasty surprises and the teacher will know it’s genuine.
7. Rewards, rewards, rewards
Just like when you’ve finished that piece of work you may reward yourself with a couple of pages of a book. The same applies to your child. Get them to choose a reward before That way it’s an incentive to finishing.
8. Listen and don’t take over
It’s very tempting to see what’s been set and take control. The homework that’s been completed by you instead of your child sticks out like a sore thumb (no matter how much you want to make a house from a shoebox). It’s also not helpful for your child or the teacher. So, sit on your hands and stay quiet.
Let them read the task and explain to you what they have to do. Then, your child can get their head around it and you can see what support you might need to give.
Accept it as part of school life
Homework is a rotten part of school life. The key to coping with it is just accepting that and having a consistent routine to get it done.
Regular praise, exciting rewards and a clear routine will make completing it a habit and not a battle (I promise).