In Revision Courses

How to Help With Homework

You may have hoped to completely pass the homework responsibility over to your ever-independent teen when they started their Nationals or Highers. However, after all these years of school, you may still be battling with a teen who likes to leave their homework until the last minute? Or tries to avoid it altogether? Maybe you just don’t feel you have any knowledge that would give them a helping hand?

But, what you do have as a parent is support, encouragement, experience and skills. No, you might not remember the ins-and-outs of Macbeth, but you might know where to look or where to head!

Sometimes, we assume teens know exactly what they’re doing by the time they reach exam level. Quite often, they’re actually feeling overwhelmed and daunted (especially at the start of the school year,) where they’re likely to be laden with new and important information from every subject.

So, when it comes to helping your teen with their homework, creating a system in your household can be helpful. Think about the time of day when your teenager might be the most efficient. Some children find straight after school is best, whilst other students are better taking a rest and starting homework after their dinner. (Some even like to complete homework in the morning, but this is not normally recommended at exam level, as students’ tasks often consist of practise exam papers and essays: these are tasks that can’t be completed in haste!)

Chat with your child and be open. Offer them opportunities to talk about their homework and find out what they’ve been learning at school. Even if you don’t know anything about the topics they’re talking about, you can still help by being a ‘listening ear!’ If you feel able, you could also ask them questions about it: get your child to explain it to you. Vocalising learning is actually a really good revision strategy for your child to get into the habit of.

Praise and encouragement are also going to be massively important this year. Boosting your child’s self-confidence, when you can, should hopefully feed into their general attitude and mindset towards examinations: the more positivity, the better!

Aim to find some time to look at homework with them or read through their final pieces before they hand it in. Not only might it be useful for your teen to have a second pair of eyes looking over their work, but it also models interest in homework and shows you are willing to invest in it, too. Even though many parents struggle for time or you might not be around when your child is completing their homework, aim to set aside a bit of time each week to help. This year, homework is really vital.

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Finally, if your child has Additional Needs, make contact with the school’s SENCO. Your child will be considered for certain access arrangements which may well apply to homework expectations, too. Your child may be entitled to particular resources or alternative homework tasks.