The start of a new school year is an exciting time, but for many children…
It’s the beginning of a new school year and for many parents, the return of dreaded homework. While your homework days might be long gone, making sure your child keeps on top of their deadlines can feel like a bit of a chore.
Reluctance aside, now is the prime time to kickstart the academic year on the right note and equip your child with effective homework strategies that will encourage a love for learning outside the classroom.
In this article, we’ll outline seven invaluable homework hacks that will set the stage for a successful year ahead.
1. Create a consistent routine
When it comes to homework, consistency is key. Help your child establish a regular homework routine by setting aside a specific time each day (or a few time slots each week) for focused study. A consistent routine will instil good study habits and help your child manage their time more effectively.
Find a time that suits them best – it could be right after school, after a short break, or in the evening
2. Designate a homework-friendly space
Create a quiet and clutter-free workspace for your child to do their homework. This environment will boost their focus and productivity.
If your child doesn’t have a desk in their bedroom, agree on the use of a shared space (such as the kitchen table) for homework at a set time each day. Ensure they have all the necessary supplies – notebooks, pens, and a calculator – readily available in this space.
If your household is particularly busy or large, you may want to consider a trip to the local library. Many will have useful amenities such as desks, power sockets, and free Wi-Fi.
3. Set realistic goals
Encourage your child to set achievable goals for their homework. Help them to break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This approach will be beneficial for maintaining motivation when your child is faced with a lengthy or daunting task and provide them with a sense of accomplishment as each mini-goal is reached.
4. Encourage breaks
Excessive stretches of studying can decrease productivity and lead to burnout, so study breaks are essential!
The duration and frequency of breaks your child should take will depend on their individual needs. If your child benefits from shorter work intervals, a 5-10 minute break every half-hour can help them recharge and return to their tasks with renewed energy (see the Pomodoro technique). Alternatively, some students may prefer to work for longer periods and take 30-45 minute breaks.
5. Be a supportive guide
Whilst it’s natural to want to help your child, resist the urge to do their homework for them. The temptation to complete assignments or correct errors on their behalf might seem like a good idea at the time, but it can hinder their learning in the long run. If you correct all of your child’s mistakes, their teachers won’t be able to identify their weaknesses and provide valuable feedback.
Instead, offer guidance when they’re stuck on a problem or concept. Encourage them to think critically, problem-solve, and develop resilience when they face challenges in their assignments.
6. Use online resources
The internet is a treasure trove of educational resources. Help your child find reliable websites, videos, and tutorials that can support their learning. Sites like BBC Bitesize, Khan Academy, and Youtube offer excellent educational content.
PMT Education offers tons of free study resources tailored to GCSE and A Level students across a wide range of subjects and exam boards. From videos and flashcards to traditional notes and questions by topic, we’ve got all aspects of your child’s learning covered!
7. Get a tutor
Even with your best efforts as a parent, homework can be difficult, especially if it’s in a subject you aren’t familiar with. If you find your child grappling with certain subjects or believe they could benefit from personalised one-on-one support from an experienced tutor, you might want to consider private tutoring. Private tutors can provide tailored guidance, focusing on your child’s specific strengths and weaknesses.
Supporting your child with their homework doesn’t have to be a daunting task! By implementing these parent homework hacks, you can create an environment conducive to learning and foster a positive attitude towards education.