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Homework Hacks: Ways to Make Homework Easier

NW NewLynn 8

Students are successful with their learning when they have the support and resources they need, along with strong habits and motivation to keep them going. Parents play an important role in their children’s academic success and can have a positive impact on their learning by engaging with their homework. 

Taking an interest in your child’s homework, lending a helping hand, providing extra support when needed, and modelling organisational skills and time management go a long way in helping your child achieve academic success. Homework shouldn’t be treated as a chore or something the family dreads. 

Cultivating a positive outlook on homework and taking an active role as a parent can make the daily task enjoyable and rewarding. This blog explores tips to make homework less stressful and more beneficial for the whole family.

Connect with the Teachers

At the beginning of the year, try to connect with your child’s teachers. Create a communication channel where you can check in with their teacher, and address any queries or concerns either one of you might have. This will help you understand the volume of homework each week and when it needs to be handed in. Not all homework is created equal, and you must understand their priorities and the subjects or assignments that your child should focus on. 

Perhaps the class has spelling tests every Friday, so spelling needs to be a priority every week. Maybe there is more flexibility around reading assignments because book reports are only due once a month. Get to know the subjects your child does and doesn’t excel in, and direct more of their homework time towards the areas where they need to improve.

Create a Distraction-free Study Space

Ensure their study space is well-lit and set up with the resources and supplies they need to be productive. Have ample stationery available, fully charged devices, and everything they need at their fingertips, to prevent delays in settling into homework time. Dedicating a space to homework and study can be motivating for children, especially if you can decorate it or set it up in a way that your child likes. This might include a whiteboard with colourful pens to brainstorm ideas, a cute lamp with a character they like, cute stationery, or other personalised items.

Schedule Homework Time

Creating a routine around homework is possibly the best hack there is, to make homework a successful and stress-free experience. A regular homework routine sets clear expectations about when homework should be completed, to fit in with other family commitments and extracurricular activities. Schedule homework for a time when you or a family member will be available to support or supervise your child (if needed), and when there are no conflicting priorities such as after-school tuition or sport. This might look like practising spelling words while cooking dinner, playing educational games after breakfast, such as NumberWorks’nWords’ Steve Storm, practising times tables on car journeys, working on homework assignments at the same time each day, or reading before bed every night. What works for one family might not work for another, however setting a consistent routine and clear expectations will help engrain good homework habits, and reduce fights about getting homework done.

Give Praise and Rewards

Positive reinforcement and praise are strong motivators for children and adults alike. Praise helps by encouraging children to repeat good behaviour, as they know they will be rewarded for it. Encouraging your child to strive for excellence with their schoolwork and homework helps them to see the value and purpose of their efforts. Rewards also work as a motivator to stimulate good behaviour and achievement. Let your child know that you are there for them, and take an active interest in their work. Ask about tests, assignments, and projects, offer ideas and suggestions, and be there to answer questions and listen to concerns.

Encourage Critical Thinking

Homework isn't just about memorising facts and figures; it's about understanding concepts and developing critical thinking skills. Encourage your child to think critically about the topics they're studying. Ask open-ended questions that prompt them to analyse, evaluate, and explain their answers. This not only enhances their understanding but also boosts their confidence in tackling challenging assignments.

Foster Independence

While providing support is crucial, fostering independence is equally important. Teach your child to break down tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Guide them on how to plan their homework, set goals, and manage their time effectively. By empowering them to take charge of their assignments, you're instilling valuable life skills that will serve them well in the future.

Make it a Family Affair

Turn homework time into a family activity. Create a conducive environment where everyone in the household is engaged in their quiet activities. This shared commitment to focused work can motivate your child to concentrate better and finish homework more efficiently. Plus, it sets a positive example, showing them the importance of dedication and hard work.

Embrace Technology

In today's digital age, there's a wealth of educational resources available online. Explore educational apps, websites, and online tutorials that align with your child's curriculum. These interactive tools can make learning engaging and interactive, helping your child grasp difficult concepts more easily. Just ensure that screen time is balanced and monitored to maintain a healthy routine.

Celebrate Achievements

Acknowledge your child's accomplishments, no matter how small they might seem. Celebrate their successes, whether it's acing a spelling test, completing a challenging math problem, or finishing a research project. Positive reinforcement boosts their self-esteem and motivates them to excel further. Consider creating a reward system, where completing homework tasks on time leads to special privileges or treats. This positive reinforcement encourages a positive attitude towards homework.

By incorporating these additional homework hacks into your routine, you can transform homework from a daunting task into a rewarding learning experience. Remember, every child is unique, so feel free to adapt these strategies to suit your child's individual needs and preferences. With patience, encouragement, and a bit of creativity, you can turn homework time into a time of growth, learning, and family bonding.

Get Additional Support if Needed

If your child is struggling with their homework, lacks confidence, or isn’t keeping up with their peers, consider seeking outside help. Open communication with your child’s teacher and an active interest in their homework and learning can improve school results and achievement, however, if you are still concerned about your child’s progress, tutoring can be a useful option. 

NumberWorks’nWords offers free assessments in English and maths. Our comprehensive assessments reveal gaps and weaknesses in each child’s abilities and determine what level they are currently at. From here, we offer personalised tutoring that is tailored to the learning needs of each child. Alternatively, you may have a child who is racing ahead of their peers and needs an extra challenge, or you may not be able to support them with their homework. Maths and English tutoring with Numberworks’nWords also accommodates accelerated learners, and we offer learning programmes to further advance their abilities.

Homework doesn’t need to be a headache, and there are strategies you can put in place to make the process easier. If you are interested in maths and English tutoring for your child, get in touch with your local centre or book a free assessment today.

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