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Getting your child into the active habit of completing their homework

studdy buddy

Study Buddies can get positive results

It can often be a struggle to encourage your child to complete a set amount of time of homework and revision hours weekly, as it often feels like a fight over control. You feel as a parent you should be guiding them to sit down and study whereas they feel they are now needing independence and should be able to choose when they do themselves – which many of us must have noticed does not always go as according to plan with younger children.

You may have noticed some of the ways that your children try to hold onto their control by sometimes doing their homework but not handing it in, doing it in sloppy handwriting or by just not studying carefully for their tests. In return when this happens parents feel more frustrated and push, punish, argue with their children even more to try and persuade them to complete their homework.

One of the first things you need to do is take a step back and try to guide your child instead of trying to control him/her. Children are motivated, they do want to impress you however when you show signs of anger and frustration you ultimately end up scaring them and pushing them away.

You need to ask yourself what has worked in the past, think about a time where your child has completed their homework well without any fussing or hassles. Was there something different about that situation, what could it have been that made it work? Perhaps you were sitting with your child in the same room and were available to answer their questions instead of being tuned out on your smartphone. Or maybe the TV was off and younger siblings in a different room which meant they had minimal distractions. The best way to figure this out is by speaking to your child directly – ask him/her what motivates them to work and trust their answer, go with it for a few days and see if that truly does affect his study outcome in a positive manner.

Another way to encourage your child to complete their own work is by stopping arguing with them over it every day. If they are a little older and mature then try taking a step back; let the homework stay between the teacher and the student. Once the student starts to face the repercussions of their negligence in revising and completing set work then they will have no choice but to complete their work or face further punishments from the school. Your sole job as a parent is to help your child do his job, make a better safer environment at home with less arguments and they will naturally lean towards completing their work.

If you and your child prefer when you sit with him/her to help them study and it makes you tense, then you both can take a short break. You don’t need to do thirty minutes of straight uninterrupted study session; no one is watching or grading your child for this. What matters is the quality of the work they complete and how well they learn the topic at hand.

One of the most effective ways to improve your child’s learning and routine is by setting necessary structures in place. It has been scientifically proven that when you do the same type of task at the same time and place regularly you will learn and memorise more than if your surroundings and task were to keep changing. Make a public area of your home such as the living or dining room a study area for your child so that you can also keep an eye on them and they can easily reach you if they need assistance, and keep the bedroom as a place of rest at the end of a busy day so they don’t feel stressed at night. Another effective technique many parents have found is that when grades are falling, minus the screen time such as TV, Game Consoles and smartphones so that your child can concentrate more on his work and understands they can then do the leisure activity of their choice as a reward once their work or target has been met. You should also make your child understand that weekend activities and meeting up with friends will only occur once homework and other priority tasks have been completed. These methods will definitely assist your child in making better decisions and improving their time management skills.

As a parent we need to understand that we are the first role models to our children’s eyes. Don’t over focus on what you think is best for your child, take a step back and think about what your own personal life goals are and what ‘revision’ you need to get done to achieve these goals. By modelling your own persistence and perseverance to achieve your own goals you are setting an excellent and inspirational example to your child also.

If your child is a little older, perhaps have exams coming up, then the idea of inviting over a study buddy can also give a positive outcome. This is simply where another friend of theirs who is in the same class studying for the same topic can come over and study with your child. This method allows for you to also supervise from a distance and give your child some companionship on their level, they can discuss together what they have been taught and their answers on the questions set by their teacher.

Once you can get yourself and your child in these healthy habits you will be sure to notice a positive change in their attitude and method towards work. Improving their time management, making them feel secure and comfortable in their own home and being available to assist and answer their concerns will undoubtedly turn them in better more structured young adults.

Are kids more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework?

dad taking an interest in your kids homeworkThere is a lot of debate on whether kids have too much homework these days.  Teachers say the idea of homework is not just for revision and continual learning after hours but to prepare them for when they get into year 11 and 12 or even Uni.  It’s preparation, so that study is not so much of a shock and they have learned skill around how to actually do it.  The question I have heard recently is – are kids more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.

If you kids are anything like mine, it is a constant struggle to get them to concentrate on any homework at home.  I do all the right things like switching off the TV, create an environment that is non distracting and still they don’t care much for it.  It could be because they have had enough of the work during the day? who knows, but there is homework to be done, so we get it done with as little upset as possible.

Of course, helping with homework shouldn’t mean spending hours hunched over a desk. The idea is that we as dads are supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? We might even learn a thing or two! 🙂

Here are some homework tips to guide the way:

  • Know the teachersand what they’re looking for.  Attend school events, such as parent-teacher nights (arrange a separate meeting if you can’t attend together), to meet your child’s teachers.  Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.
  • Set up a homework-friendly area.  Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework.  Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
  • Schedule a regular study time.  Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
  • Help them make a plan.  On heavy homework nights or when there’s an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)
  • Make sure kids do their own work.  They won’t learn if they don’t think for themselves and make their own mistakes. We can make suggestions and help with directions.  But it’s a kid’s job to do the learning.
  • Be a motivator and monitor.  Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.
  • Set a good example.  Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book?  Kids are more likely to follow our examples than our advice.
  • Praise their work and efforts. Post good results or an art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.
  • If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about it with your child’s teacher.  Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others might need an evaluation for a learning problem or attention disorder.  It’s very common for kids to have special learning teachers visit them and help with reading, spelling or maths.  Most schools provide this service free of charge.