Homework Tips for Parents

Home work Tips For Parents [high school & college focus]

– children need to be taught to think & study for themselves
– cite an example of a 14 year old who takes no interest in homework
– there is no “easy way” to make homework more interesting, less time-consuming/less involving struggle & “nagging” by a parent
– reality of life means there are parts of all jobs that you will not like as much as others (either to get the outcome, or as part of the process of working through something)

Suggestions for years 9/10+ students [less time-consuming]
– review what they are doing
– to become more efficient / more productive
– sometimes a child “hates” a subject so they “paradoxically” drag it out
[not just sitting on computer for 3 hrs on Google]
[doing homework in front of TV/with headphones on/music on]
– attempt to influence not tell the adolescent what to do (they are at an age where they are realising a parent has less ability to do this)

Technique 1 – make homework finite [1 – 1.5 hrs/night in Year 10; more in Year 11/12]
– support with acknowledgment it can be boring, but it has to be done
– split into 2 x 30 minute blocks | rest of night is free time

Technique 2 – allocate set times for homework [plan with everything else]
– agreement is reached/negotiated
– expectations of parents are also set – your job is to go to school & be a student
– no nagging of child/give space & encouragement

Techniques 3 – no distractions during that time

Technique 4 – have a plan before you start to target study
– write down all the things you need to do in order (sort/prioritise if necessary)

Suggestions for primary school while younger:
– create a homework routine reinforced by rewards
– learns focusing for set periods of times
– apply homework lessons to home duties/chores at home (measuring out things)
– learns relevance & reinforces learning about how to learn
– everything can be an impromptu lesson

What we know:
– establishing a habit (cue – time/place/environment; behaviour; reward – external & internal [sense of achievement of reaching a goal])
– research: it takes 66 days to establish a habit
– habit formation is good as it replaces the need for motivation
– telling someone what to do lowers motivation
– the earlier you start developing these skills the better
– we cannot really make someone do anything they are not motivated in some way to do (how to achieve this) – telling does not work
– dialogues about realities of the world (jobs; life – doing tax returns for e.g.)

Students need to bring at least 1 of 3 emotional states with them when attempting homework:
– enjoyment
– enthusiasm
– acceptance (how education system works; how learning works)

– at this age we do not always know what we need to know in the future

Source: Brain Tree Podcast | 1 June 2014


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