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Parenting Tips 101 – Cultivating the right habits for homework

Set a routine for homework that suits everyone. Children are often hungry after school so a snack and drink first may be a good idea. Some children like to complete their homework as soon as they get home, but others work better after some time out relaxing or playing.

Developing a fixed routine means everyone knows what is expected. This can be especially helpful later at secondary school when homework becomes more serious.

Avoid starting homework too late in the evening. Children find it harder to concentrate when they are tired.

If you have more than one child, you will realise that it can be hard balancing the needs of children at different stages of learning. However, try not to let younger siblings flaunt their free time too much.

Encourage your child to plan ahead for homework. Children are sometimes given several days to complete their assignments and it is tempting to leave it to the last minute.

It may help to split homework into shorter assignments with a break in between, especially if your child finds it hard to concentrate. Give them a timer or a clock so they can chart their own progress and feel in control.

Teach your children how to find information for themselves – from books, libraries and the Internet. The web, in particular, is a great resource for fact-finding but children need to be aware that not all websites are always accurate.

Make sure your children read through their completed homework. This helps them to cultivate the habit of checking their own work.

If you find your child struggling with an assignment, speak with the teacher or write a note explaining that help is needed. The teacher can then offer support and will not wrongly assume this is something your child understands. It is also useful to check with the teacher how long homework should take.

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