Updated: Jan 13
After spending the whole day learning at school, it is difficult for children to gather the energy to sit down and start their homework. Parents play a critical role in supporting and encouraging learning at home. Establishing good homework habits early on can ensure children successfully follow through with these practices in high school too.
Homework given to children is either a revision or extension of what they have studied in class. This can be in the form of reading, writing, research projects, quizzes or assignments. There is no specific guideline given into how much time children should be investing in homework, but there are several factors to consider to make homework completion a more efficient process.
Establish and Maintain a Regular Routine
It is beneficial to get in the habit of doing homework at the same time each day, preferably completing it earlier as children may get tired by night. For example, 4-6 pm is a suitable time for primary school children and 4-7 pm for older children as they will still have some energy and momentum to resume learning following school. After dinner may get a bit tricky as children should essentially be winding down and getting ready for their sleep schedule.
Creating a regular routine will allow children to follow a structure. They can also have the flexibility to enjoy recreational activities if they finish their homework before the allocated time, which is a great incentive to keep them going. For older children, it is important to teach them key skills, such as scheduling and prioritising. You can encourage them to break up assignments and revision into smaller portions, so it is easier for them to study.
Create a Suitable Study Environment
Has your child ever sat down to do homework but then realised they misplaced their textbook or need to go sharpen their pencil?
Creating a dedicated space within the household for homework will reduce chaos and can be a great way to enhance children’s concentration. It can be a small table placed in the corner of the living room or a desk in the bedroom. Ensure that there is adequate lighting available. A quiet space with minimal distractions will increase their focus. Ensure that this space is well-equipped with all the materials and resources children might need during homework such as pencils, pens, glue, paper, eraser, scissors and a sharpener, to avoid disruptions.
Be a coach, not a saviour
Don’t forget that sometimes teachers use homework as a tool to monitor a child’s progress. Therefore, try to avoid doing all the work for your child. Often, parents lose patience waiting for their children to answer; they answer the question themselves without realising. Giving children time to problem-solve through logic and reasoning is part of the homework process.
Before children commence homework, it might be a good idea to give a quick overview of what they need to complete and ask them if they have any questions. They can then work independently unless they need help. As they transition into high school, it is likely they will need less support. Avoid ‘hovering’ over children and give them space to complete tasks. Let children know that you are available to help, in case they get stuck on something.
Maintaining a balance
Consider your child’s age and developmental level before setting a schedule. Children may need some physical activity or game time after school to unwind. Too much homework can be too exhausting for them so parents must create a balance.
According to an international study, there has been an increase in the amount of time children spend doing homework in Australia. This time frame varies depending on how much homework they have and their class level. Be sure to include study breaks into their schedule and offer healthy snacks such as fruits, crackers and water at regular intervals to keep them motivated.
Consider getting a tutor
If you do not excel at certain subjects or your children need some extra help, we have you covered! At Belrose Tutoring Academy, our one-on-one tutoring programs are designed to enhance student performance quickly. We strive to restore children’s self-belief and confidence to help achieve academic success. Our tutors work with children to complete set tasks by adapting learning styles, so children are more comfortable and have a better understanding and grasp on the subject matter.
For Further Information, you can visit the following websites for more detailed guidelines provided by the Department of Education (NSW).