Homework can often be a major cause of conflict in households, with parents citing the age-old “have you done your homework?” argument as a daily occurrence.
Even so, homework is a vital source of learning for children of all ages, as it encourages them to reinforce what they’ve learnt at school and develop important study techniques and skills that will help them in later life.
When a child is doing homework, it is crucial for a parent to show an interest and provide support if needed. There are many ways in which we can do this.
Reading. When it comes to reading, parents can instil a love of books from an early age by taking children to libraries and getting them involved in choosing reading material.
By reading together, children have the opportunity to ask questions, explore language and eventually read and understand words and sentences. Allow plenty of time to practise and support your child to develop at their own pace.
Writing. Parents can help by being enthusiastic about letters and how they add up to make words.
There are countless games and puzzles which can help with word recognition and magnetic numbers or foam bath shapes can be a fun introduction.
Another tip is to write letters, words and sentences and ask your child to copy them.
Making Learning Fun
Use your computer. Everything can become a game and when playing on the computer. Seek out educational activities which are fun but still teach important skills.
There are many videos on the internet with an educational focus such as counting or phonics and there is something suitable for every child.
If they are struggling in a specific area, it’s helpful to download support material such as worksheets which you can then help them complete.
Games. Board games can also be of great assistance. Things such as flashcards can come in handy especially for younger children who respond well to bold pictures and bright colours.
Day-to-day activities such as shopping, nature walks and cooking can all become ways to teach children counting, differentiating and measuring.
Key Factors for Success
The right learning environment. Of course, the home environment needs to be suitable for learning so make space for a desk and chair. Well-designed furniture for schools is functional and tailored to learning, but there’s no reason why a similar environment cannot be created at home.
Good organisation is essential for effective revision and a desk can help with this. Ensure a level of quiet and concentration by making sure the TV is switched off when homework or revision is taking place.
Communication. Effective communication is also really important. Parents should feel comfortable in discussing any issues or concerns with their child’s teacher and vice versa.
A good relationship between parent and teacher can pinpoint any areas which need attention or perhaps extra tuition.
Individual learning techniques. Children are individuals and all learn differently. Be aware of your child’s interests and try to nurture them.
Take time to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and the tactics they respond best to. After-school clubs and social activities can also be great ways of letting children find their niche and get extra support if necessary.
Children learn by example so a good role model is a parent who is hungry to learn. Parents have a vital role to play in educating their children and helping them to grow up to be well-rounded and confident people in their own right.
This guest post was written by Francesca on behalf of Innova Design Solutions who specialize in furniture for schools. You can connect with her on Twitter at @franki_blogs.