Once your child is at secondary school you will know far less about what homework they have and you will have less control over what they homework they do.
This may sound worrying but actually it is a positive in many ways as it means their independence is increasing and they will have to take more responsibility for their work.
There is still a lot you can do to support them and set them up for homework success.
It is good idea for organisational systems to be set up from the start of secondary school in regard to homework. Assigning time slots to specific pieces of homework as they come in, and noting these on a calendar creates accountability. Your child should also make a note of the day it will need to go into school. This way nothing is forgotten and all should be completed and handed in on time.
A visible calendar that they check daily will be an important part of your child staying organised.
Having a defined space to keep their work and store their books will also be crucial to making sure everything is to hand and nothing goes missing.
It is also beneficial for a young person to have a routine around their homework. Maybe they like a snack and to get changed from school first, or perhaps they work better after a proper break and tea?
A routine will enable your child to prepare mentally and physically to start working again. The consistency of a routine should mean there is less resistance to doing homework because it just becomes part of their timetable.
Having the right equipment is essential when it comes to homework. Not having the right equipment could just completely stop your child in their tracks.
They will need:
• A dictionary
• Access to a laptop or PC
• Pens, pencils, felt tips, coloured pencils
• Scissors and glue
• A scientific calculator and a maths set
• A ruler, sharpener and rubber
They may need additional equipment but these are the basics, having them to hand will make life so much easier.
Space to work
A physical, defined space to work is really important. An uncluttered and clean space where your child feels comfortable and isn’t easily distracted is the ideal. If they do have to use a common area can this be managed around the times they are studying? Storage space for ongoing and completed homework also needs to be defined and respected.
If your child is struggling with their homework a little assistance from you to help them get back on track can be a real positive. If they are really struggling though do encourage them to go back to their tutor themselves for additional clarification and support. Doing too much to help them won’t ever help them in the long term and will give their tutor a false sense of their understanding.
Show your interest
Whilst you may be trying hard not to interfere, many children will want to share with you what they have learned and created, so do show them your interest and enthusiasm. This will keep you connected and encourage them to take pride in their homework.
Encourage your child to have at least one reliable friend in each of their subject groups and to get their phone number. This will prove invaluable in times of mislaid or confusing homework!