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04Oct 13

How to manage the homework battle

With my children Tom and Mary back at school, the battle over homework has become part of our evening routine.

Mary normally does her work quickly and without complaints, but Tom can make a mountain out of a molehill of a few pages of algebra. Things have improved in the last couple of years, but only after a lot of cajoling and bribery!

So what is the best way parents can help their children with homework? Here are a few of my tips.

How to manage the homework battle

How to manage the homework battle

Homework help

It is important that children receive their parents’ support with homework. There are always a million jobs to be done at home after a busy day at work, but I make sure I am on hand to help Mary and Tom with their school studies. I believe good parenting is about making homework a priority, but children need to be convinced you are doing this for their benefit.

Make sure that you create the right atmosphere at home for learning as well as establish a homework schedule and stick with it. But always consider your individual child’s needs. Some children do better when they start immediately on their homework, but others need a break before they can concentrate again on school work.

When Tom was younger, we used to argue about when he should begin his homework. It was the last thing he wanted to do when he got home. I have learned a few tricks over the years, including allowing him to watch his favourite television show, but only if he has finished his homework before it begins. I also check his work carefully to ensure he hasn’t finished in haste. Now 10 years old, Tom still needs some encouragement to get his nose into the books, but the tantrums are at least a thing of the past!

Good homework habits

Good homework habits take time to develop. Here are some of my guidelines for parents and children.

• Homework should not be a problem, but an opportunity to learn.

• Be your children’s role model. Let them see you also have tasks to do by tackling paperwork or doing your bills while they study.

• Take a few minutes at the beginning of homework time to go over the day’s and week’s assignments. Help your children organise their homework.

• Help your children, but don’t do the homework for them! Their teachers need to know their strengths and weaknesses.

What are your tips for dealing with the homework battle?

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