Homework is something that many parents and children stress over It can be something which children do not want to do and that they find hard. However, it is something that all children have to do. They may not have anything to do in primary school, but once they start secondary school they will have homework. It is possible for parents to write to the school and ask for their children to opt out of homework, but this may not be wise. It is likely that school will try to talk you round, the children may get academically behind and they will not be prepared for the extra work that they will have to do when needing to revise for exams. Therefore it is best to find an effective way to help with homework so that you all get used to how to do it effectively.
Find the right time
Some people do their best work early in the morning and others work much better at night. This also applies to children and so it can be worth finding out when they work at their best. If they work better in the morning then it is wise to get them doing work then, rather than in the evening and vice versa. There may not be enough time in the morning to fit in everything, but it will be good to fit in some homework then if this is the time when they work best. Remember that you need to find that time that works best for them rather than you and you will need to work around it as it is them that need to be the most receptive and in the right mood for working.
Provide the right atmosphere
It is really important that they can concentrate while they are working. This means that they will be better off without a television on and without access to a phone or computer unless they are specifically using it for the work that they are doing. Removing all distractions will help them to concentrate and not only get the work completed more quickly but they will be able to produce a better quality work. If they insist on wanting to watch something then record it for them to watch later and if they are desperate to keep checking their phone give them regular breaks where they can do so or else the worry of not being able to check it could be distracting for them. Also allow them to work in an uninterrupted space so do not ask them to do chores or anything else while they are working. It may also be helpful to them to have a desk that they can work at where they will be able to lay out the things that they need and produce neater work as a result.
Be there to answer questions
It is so important to be available to answer questions that they might have. You may feel that you are not qualified or clever enough to answer but you do not have to be. You just need to be able to show them how to find out the answer. This might be by searching online, looking in a book or even asking their teacher. You might actually be surprised as to how much you actually do know and how helpful you can be. You will find that things you learned in school will come back to you and be helpful.
Do not criticise but show ways to improve It can be really tempting to look at the quality of work that they are producing and be highly critical. Whether it is how they read, their handwriting or what they are writing it can be tempting to think that they can do a lot better. It is worth remembering that they will not be able to do things to the same quality that you can and so you should not expect them to. However, the more you work with them, the more likely you are to know what they are capable of and whether they can put in more effort. However, the effort they are capable of will also change for day to day depending on how tired they are and what sort of mood they are in. You will have to judge on a daily basis whether they are so tired that the only amendment they can cope with is the odd spelling mistake or whether they are capable of rewriting a few paragraphs or even redoing the whole thing. Obviously you will want them to do the best that they can but it is important to tell them what you like about what they have done as well as showing them places they could improve. It is good to also encourage them to proof read or ask them whether they can see what they have done wrong so that they can become more independent.
Stay patient and relaxed
It is so important to be patient with them and stay relaxed. If you get agitated then it is likely that you will end up arguing with them and this will not be good for your relationship and could stop them wanting you to work with them. Without you guiding them, they are unlikely to do as well and they may not even bother to do any of their work at all. By patiently encouraging them to get on with their work and to produce a good quality of work you should be able to help them and maintain a good relationship with them. They can get stressed with doing homework and they would probably rather be doing something else (as might you) and this could mean that they lose their temper with you, but it is important to not lose your temper with them. If you feel that it will be hard for you to stay patient then ask their other parent or an older sibling to help them. Grandparents can also be useful for helping with homework if they are available to do so.