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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Video: homework and your child

Experts, parents and children look at common problems that children might face with homework and suggest some useful tips to help.

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Text version

First parent: "Shall we go and get your book and your seat?"

Child: "No...."

First parent: "Come on - shall we go see what story it is?"

Child: "No...."

Second parent: "Homework's always an issue - just trying to get them to do it, for a start."

Boy: "Sometimes, I just can't be bothered to do it." 

What are the signs that your child is having problems with homework?

Chireal Shallow, psychologist: "A child may be expressing some real anxiety about the homework that they have to do - that they are avoiding it, they may be becoming quite emotional about doing it. So there are some real key things that are going on for your child.

"Look to see whether the homework is piling up; whether there's been any communication from the school about their concerns - that will give the parent a good understanding that their child is having some real problems that they could help them with." 

Sit with your child as much as possible

Boy: "When my mum or daddy helps me it feels like I'm not just doing it on my own."

Girl: "My mum tells me which bit to start on and then I keep on reading and do it."

Chireal Shallow: "The extremes children will go to to not do their homework is doing anything other than the task at hand - and you may find that this is displayed in really disruptive behaviour, so often getting themselves into trouble. Because if they get in trouble then the parent will be focused on the behaviour rather than the avoidance of the homework."

Boy: "Sometimes I don't really get into it, and I ask mum or dad if I can do it later, because I don't really like it that much."

Girl: "I've tried doing homework in front of the telly once, but it distracts me - so I can't do it."

Melanie Bryne, Dyslexia Action: "A quiet environment, with as few distractions as possible, would be really helpful - and also, short breaks; bite-sized chunks of homework. Be around to encourage and make sure that your child is on task. It might also be useful for the child to monitor their time - so organisational skills." 

Praise your child as much as possible

Chireal Shallow:"The other thing parents can do is really remember to praise their children and tell them as much as they can how proud they are of them and how much they love them. And all of this will help their children to feel better about themselves, more confident and able to complete and achieve the homework that's set."

Useful tips: 

  • find out why there are problems
  • talk to the teacher if you are worried
  • praise and encourage your child

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