Homework is important because it improves your child's thinking and memory. When homework is set before a lesson, it can help understanding later in class. Homework also provides opportunities for reinforcement of work learned during school time. It also helps your child to develop positive learning habits which they will need in the future. To become an independent learner your child will need to research information for themselves such as from the internet or the library.

Here are 7 tips to support your child with homework

1.Provide a quiet environment 

Provide a quiet, well-lit area. Avoid distractions such as the television and loud music. Encourage other family members to be quiet, especially youngsters.

2.Have a Regular Homework Routine 

Obviously household routines differ. Late at night is rarely a good time to do homework, as children are tired. You may need to be flexible if your child attends outside activities. Try to get a balance, but homework is a priority. If it is being rushed then consider reducing after school commitments or television viewing. Also, do not expect your child to work on an empty stomach. No-one works well when they are hungry.

3.Praise Effort and Achievement

It is vital to praise a child for his or her efforts and achievements. Positive comments are more effective than critical ones. A child can become disaffected if continually reminded of shortcomings. Building self-esteem is very important if a child is to try with school work.

4.Show an Interest

Make time to talk about school in daily conversations. You can give your child a good start if you read with your child and discuss current reading books, at least up to the age of eleven.

5.Provide Equipment

Ensure your child has basic equipment such as pencils, a ruler, erasers, a dictionary and paper. Other useful items could include coloured crayons/pencils scissors, glue, a thesaurus and sticky tape. These should be kept together. Homework bags are a good idea because books can be carried to and from school safely. Access too a computer is useful but should not restrict your child from completing homework.

6. Set a Good Example

Children's attitudes to homework are mainly influenced by their parents' guidance and examples. They are more likely to want to do homework if they see you reading and writing. Remember that educational visits can also support learning.

7. Monitor Homework 

Obviously how closely children need to be monitored is dependent on several factors:

  • the age of the child
  • how able your child is academically
  • how independently your child is able to work

It is a good idea to check homework over. It is important to remember that the homework is not yours, but your child's. If you do the work you are not helping him or her to become an independent learner. Discuss with your child's teacher what support is expected from you.