As a parent, you may have had a range of different thoughts and opinions about homework. Your opinion could have swayed from believing that homework is a requisite, to believing that it is redundant. One thing that has probably stuck on through this swaying is the stress!
Stress seems to seep into so much of our children's schooling life, e.g. grades, competition, tuition and submissions.
While we try navigating through these moments of chaos, it might make sense for us to question and understand, why?
Homework: The Motive
Homework serves several purposes in the learning process:
1. Tracking a child's progress
2. Keeping tabs on areas of improvement
3. Reinforcing concepts that have been newly learned
Research suggests that revision is an important step in learning something. If homework is able to aid in revising what's been taught at school, the recall of that particular information is likely to get easier and faster.
Keeping the motive in mind, here are a few points to ensure we can get around the homework issue better:
Aligning with the clock
Children would likely be able to concentrate better after a break and snack. It helps to have a consistent, routine time period for homework after a break.
Research suggests to go by the 10-minute rule of homework. According to this guideline, children would be required to increase the time spent on homework by 10 minutes with each passing grade. Thus, while a first grader would spend 10 minutes on homework, a second grader would spend 20, and a 12th grader would spend no more than 2 hours per evening.
Building the base
Each child may work better in a different setting. It is important to allow them the freedom to choose what location is most helpful for them. Whether the child is comfortable at a kitchen table or at an office desk, you could work on keeping the area well-stocked with things that the child might need. Additionally, in order to keep the area more free of distraction, keep TVs, phones and other children at play, away from the child who is studying.
Being around to help
Activities of planning, organizing, and prioritizing are things that children could use help with. Monitoring the kind of assignments that are at hand, and using a planner for the child to complete the same could work well. It is recommended that if the child is having trouble with a particular piece of work, one allows enough time and clues for the child to complete it, rather than finishing it off for him/her.
If troubles with homework continue, it might make sense to have a discussion with the child's teacher about the kind of homework that is being given. Usually, younger children have a tendency to catch on to exercises that are short and fun.
To make the homework routine easier, it would help if the child's after-school activities were limited to one or two favourites. Though many parents feel pressured to put their children into lots of activities, according to child development findings, young children benefit greatly from having unstructured play time each day.
It is important to remember that these recommendations might not work in a one-size-fits-all manner. If you'd like to discuss this further or need some help in this or any other area, please connect with our counsellors.