Homework is an important part of a child’s education, and in some curriculums and year groups it can determine a sizeable portion of a subject’s grade. Sometimes, the sheer amount or the difficulty can be daunting, but no matter how much as a parent you want to help or do it for them, you really shouldn’t. Try these simple tips to help make doing homework easier and more effective for your children.
Teach them study skills and strategies
Teachers don’t always have the time to give their students study tips or advice on how to do homework efficiently. This is where parents can come in with advice on time management, setting up a homework schedule, how to take notes in class, help with revision and to emphasise the importance of concentrating in class so they don’t stress at home.
Give them the chance to study in their own style
There are seven different styles of learning according to the seven different types of intelligence. No one has the same way of learning and educational systems cannot fully concentrate on every student’s individual way. Parents must encourage their children to study in the way that suits them best and not enforce rote learning on someone who prefers flashcards or visual imagery.
The seven styles of learning are:
• Visual (spatial)
• Aural (auditory / musical)
• Verbal (linguistic)
• Logical (mathematical)
• Physical (kinaesthetic)
• Solitary (intrapersonal)
• Social (interpersonal)
Observe your children or send them for an assessment to determine what kind of learning style they have. Note that most children utilise two to four learning styles at once.
During the child’s study or homework session, all electronic devices should be turned off, unplugged or removed from the study zone along with comic books or other possible distractions. Concentration is the key to accomplishment. It helps them finish things much faster and remember things over a much longer period. Encourage them not to use the Internet to search for the answers immediately as studying is a process of thinking and observing. Being overly inactive in brain-based learning at such young age can significantly reduce the creativity and problem-solving abilities in the future.
Motivation is undoubtedly one of the biggest contributors to success, and it is imperative that parents encourage their children, especially when they are studying for exams. A common way is to highlight the importance of hard work and good grades (without putting unnecessary pressure), and to reward the child when they have put in so much effort no matter what the grade. This shouldn’t happen all the time, but as a parent you know when your child has tried their best. Studying is not easy, and many children feel resentful when forced to do it and will want to give up; so, it really is up to parents to inspire and encourage from an early age.
Take a break
Taking breaks is an important part of the homework and studying process. Make sure your child takes a break of five to ten minutes for every 25 minutes of studying or homework time. Relaxing charges up the mind and provides an opportunity for the brain to start the process of re-organising and retaining information. Forcing them to work or study for long periods of time will put them off completely and information will not be retained.
This article has been republished with permission from Hello Doktor.