Finding time to help with your child’s homework is a common gripe amongst us mums! We want to support, but there never seems to be the right window to get it done. Here are some suggestions.
The bug is how to fit in those five-a-week ten-minute sessions for each child. Mornings are the best time to learn, but they’re often fraught with the mad rush to get to school! But while you’re sorting out breakfast and making packed lunches, get them to sit down and read to you each day. It won’t take up extra time, plus it’s done for the day.
Then save bedtimes to read to them instead, when they’re too tired to read to you. It’s still great for their literacy and vocab.
Stick with the morning learning and run through these on the way to school. It’s a good idea to get them to write them out once or twice, but the rest can be done verbally. Break words up to make them easier to work out. Use learning tools (like “i before e, except after c”) to help them remember tricky ones and make it more fun.
While your children are in primary school and don’t have daily written work, weekends are often the best time for this. Small children come home tired and need time to play as part of their development. Think of how you’d feel if you came home from the office and were asked to do more work!
So try to save written homework for first thing after breakfast on a weekend. It’s critical that they’re not tired or hungry. As they get older and work more independently, do still sit at the table with them while they work. You can read the paper or pay the bills while they’re engrossed, while still being available to help where needed.
Libraries sell some excellent value workbooks that follow the curriculum and progress according to ability. They cover maths, literacy and science – although you could always source your own. Even dot-to-dot and word-search booklets are good for learning.
Keep these in the car for traffic jams, long journeys and times when you’re waiting for Gymnastics or Scouts to start. Bring them on weekends away and holidays. By doing a page here and there you’ll actually enhance their learning quite a bit. Showing your interest this way also demonstrates to your child the importance you place on their learning.
So few parents use libraries at the moment, which is remarkable considering they’re free, fun, local and educational. Whether you borrow books on school topics or use the homework club – get the kids to your local library!
Even if you have a P.C., library computers can be useful when you have siblings who want to use one each. Children love being able to choose which books they want, and be told they can have any one they like! It’s a fun, relaxing way to spend a Saturday and nurtures their love of books.