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Practical ways to help with homework (Secondary)

Practical ways to help with homework (Secondary)

Homework is intended to reinforce or build on what has been learned in class. It is most useful for your child to complete the homework while the lesson is still fresh in their mind.

You will want to support your child as best you can, but it is important that you also start to help them to become an independent learner.

Try to encourage good habits, for example:

• Completing homework in a timely manner and not leaving it until the last minute

• Doing homework in the week so that it doesn’t eat into their weekends

• Balancing work with fun activities, like spending time with friends or watching TV

When it comes to completing the homework, ask your child to tell you what they have got to do or read the task out to you. Ask them questions to ensure they understand what is required and give them the opportunity to ask for your advice. Over time, you should expect to see them gradually become more confident in this area, requiring less and less input and guidance from you. 

Make sure you have a great range of books at home that will support help your child complete homework tasks more easily. Do they have somewhere suitable to work, away from distractions, where it is quiet and they can concentrate? In addition to a table or desk, try to supply them with shelving or storage boxes where they can keep all their books and projects.

Keep a good supply of basic stationery items like paper, pens, pencils, a ruler and erasers. They will also need special equipment for Maths, including a protractor, pair of compasses and a scientific calculator. The school should provide you with a list of items.

The internet can be a very useful tool, especially when your child has to conduct research for a project. However, it is important to set some ground rules around internet usage and possibly put some parental controls in place to restrict what your child has access to.

There will be times when your child will come to you because there is a question that they can’t answer or a problem they are having difficulty solving. Rather than doing the work for them, talk through it with them step-by-step and ask them about the approaches they are using.

For some subjects, Maths especially, it is important to be aware of the methods currently being used in schools. It is worth buying a good revision guide at the beginning of the year for each of the main subjects. These can be an invaluable resource when you want to quickly look-up or check a technique.