Homework is an important part of your child's learning.
It gives them a chance to:
- work through the things they have learnt at school
- strengthen their long-term understanding of the topic or activity.
Homework helps your child to develop study skills that they will use for the rest of their life.
Homework is also a chance for you to get involved and help and in your child’s learning.
Types of homework
The type of homework set for your child will depend on:
- their age
- the subject
- the school’s homework policy
- their teacher.
These things will also influence the length of the homework and the level of difficulty.
Practice exercises are things like:
- math problems
- essay writing
- practising words and phrases learnt in another language
- practising sports skills
- playing a musical instrument
- other creative tasks.
Practice exercises give your child the chance to:
- apply new knowledge
- understand and go over what they have learnt in school.
Homework that introduces a subject or topic
This type of homework gives your child the chance to learn about a topic before their teacher covers it. This helps your child prepare and understand future lessons.
Examples of this type of homework include:
- reading about history
- reading English texts so that the class can talk about it together
- researching topics for class work
- collecting newspaper articles
- watching the news.
Homework that builds on what they already know
This type of homework is sometimes called extension work or extension assignments.
This type of work helps your child to build on what they already know. It also allows them to do this in their own way.
- writing a book review
- making artwork
- completing science experiments or investigations
- researching local news
- finding information on the internet.
How you can help
There are lots of ways you can help your child with their homework. These include:
Find resources on the homework topic
Use the FUSE website to find teaching materials and resources that can help with homework.
Encourage a homework routine
Help your child to do their homework at the same time everyday.
Some children concentrate better in the mornings. Some are better in the afternoons. Choose a time that works best for your child.
Having a regular homework time will set your child up with good study habits. This will help them throughout school and beyond.
Set up a comfortable space
Your child will find it much easier to do their homework if they have a comfortable space.
This could be a space in their bedroom, in your study or in the family room. If you don't have a space at home you could thing about going to a library.
A good homework space:
- is comfortable: not too hot, not too cold and has plenty of fresh air
- is quiet
- has good light: use a good lamp or overhead light if the space is dark
- has all the things they need to do their work: think about stationery, a computer, a printer
- is free from distractions such as the television or computer games.
Think about a study group
Some children study better with others. If you think this would help your child you could start a study group with a few of their friends.
Take turns hosting the group at each house.
Talk to your child about their homework
Don't be afraid to talk to your child's school about what they are learning.
- what is easy
- what is difficult
- what do they find interesting about it
- suggest resources they can use to help with their work.
By starting a conversation you will be able to help them plan their homework. Encourage them to tackle the difficult work first while they are fresh.
Celebrate their successes and achievements
Attend school events, productions or award ceremonies your child is a part of. Show them your support.
Homework in secondary school
Your child's homework will become harder and more frequent in secondary school.
You can help your child create a homework timetable so they can keep track of their work. This should be a task you do together.
Use a diary or a calendar and:
- enter the dates and times of your child's non-homework activities, like sport activities, house work, reading time
- get your child to list all their homework tasks for the week and when they are due
- ask your child to estimate how long each task will take to complete
- break up big tasks into small chunks
- colour-code each subject so that your child can see at a glance what they will work on
- allow 10-15 minute breaks for every hour of study
- allow breaks for mealtimes and encourage your child to eat with the rest of the family, this should be away from their desk or workspace.
Questions or concerns about homework
Talk to your child's teacher or school if you have questions about homework or you believe your child needs extra help.