Tips to avoiding a homework meltdown
Homework is painful for many reasons. One, it eats into your non-school time, two, no-one wants to do it and three, it often feels pointless. That said homework has a purpose:
1. It helps to reinforce what's being taught in the classroom.
2. It enables you to actively engage in your child's education.
3. It gets students into the habit of working out of school time by themselves.
4. It helps with skills like organisation, task completion and deadlines.
5. It can help children to retain what they are learning at school
For these reasons, it's vital to avoid homework meltdowns and nip bad habits are set projects and assignments.
Strategies to make homework less painful
Step one: Have a designated time for homework.
In KS1 and KS2 - children need to work with parents so it can help to choose a time when neither of you is fraught or hurried. Saturday mornings are good as homework is usually set over multiple days. If a number of subjects are set such as English, maths, spellings and reading, break the time up to alleviate fatigue and frustration.
With KS3 and KS4, homework is set throughout the week and can be daily. Again it can help to have a designated time each night and also a way of ensuring you can see what has been set by the school (such as the Show My Homework app).
Step two: Have a designated area with supplies
No matter how old your child is, a clear area for homework is a must if you want to avoid a meltdown. Choose a location that has no distractions and lots of supplies. Pens, paper, erasers, calculators all become a source of homework avoidance if they aren't there and ready to be used.
With KS2 and KS4 and older they may need phones and iPads, for their homework as much is set online. However, pay attention to what they are doing in their rooms and if it's homework being viewed.
Step three: Know what you're dealing before you sit down
With KS1 and KS2 always pre-read the homework so you can move straight into it when children sit down. Instruct them what to do but also encourage independent work. If something is too complicated or done in a different way to how you check the new process on YouTube (your homework best friend). Older siblings can also be handy here.
With KS4 and above, research subjects with your child online and if you're using a tutor you can ask them for extra help and advice on the areas you are perplexed by and also for resources you can refresh your mind with.
Step four: Time the homework
Depending on the age of your child and the year they are in, homework should not take hours and hours. If your child is in KS1 or 2, if it's taking beyond an hour then you need to talk to their teacher. KS3 and 4 may have more homework but unless they are revising it shouldn't take hours.