Do you feel that since your child hit school-going age, your family life is taken over by homework?
Do you constantly experiencing homework battles with your child?
The minute they reached home and settled down (or may not even settle down). What’s the first thing that comes screaming in your mind?
The minute you reached home from work, you started battling with your tired body and your tired child trying to get their what done?
Is homework really that effective for a child? To some parents, homework is a curse because
Time is stolen away
Homework has taken so much time away from you, your family. You don’t seem to be able to enjoy free time as much as you used to. In fact, at times, there’s no free time at all. Having time spent on homework means your child does not have time to pursue something that he likes. This is the reason why hobbies are not being pursued further and/or he is not meeting his development needs.
Relationship is strained
If you are a parent who guides your child through homework. You get what I mean. We scream at them to do, to focus and to get it in the head. That screaming causes huge friction between the parent and child relationship. You feel that you are accountable for your child’s life while he feels that you are over-controlling and demanding.
Causing worry and stress
Your child may tend to get worried and stressed easily when it comes to homework. When too much homework is given, he will feel stressed. According to a survey, 56 per cent of students considered homework a primary source of stress. Due to the stress from too much homework, it resulted in a lack of sleep, headaches, exhaustion and weight loss.
To other parents, homework is a blessing because it
Provides an opportunity for a parent to be involved with a child’s life
Having homework being brought back home, parents are able to understand better what the child is learning and how the child is progressing in terms of academic. Parents treat the time spent teaching the child as a parent-child bonding time.
Provides a time out for the parents
While the child is “at work”, parents get to have a short time out or settle their housework or personal work as well.
Teaches time management skills
Homework has a deadline. With that, your child is being forced to learn how to manage his time so that he gets to have the homework done within a time frame and get his playtime too. He will learn to make decisions and solve problems while trying to organize his schedule.
Provides no more screen time or rather less screen time
I bet this is the most reasonable reason for having homework. Parents love it when the child is busy with homework because he will have less chance of accessing the screen. Homework takes away some time from the screen. Provided that homework is being done first and the time is well managed.
Allows practice makes perfect
The purpose of homework is to reinforce the concepts that the child has learned in school. It is considered as a repetition learning process as they practised repeatedly to enhance their learning and the retention of the material. Repetitive learning is effective provided it is well spread out. According to the article “Science Says This Is the Most Effective Way to Learn (but You Weren’t Taught It in School)”, in order to master a concept is to spread intense bursts of learning over a long period of time. It is tough to apply this technique in school, but you can practice this scientific way of learning at home.
Homework is required when we are learning. The only thing that matter is how much is enough. Too much homework does results in stress and worry. To avoid homework battles, here are some of the effective homework strategies that have helped me ending my homework battles with my children:
- Listen in
You do not know how a child feels about the workload or why he hates homework unless you stay calm and listen to him. Listen to his little voice and understand where he is coming from so that you know how to help him tackle the struggle or challenge. He may be struggling to try to understand a concept which resulted in him not wanting to do his homework.
- Established a routine
Do note that after spending time in school with learning, your child needs some time to rest or play and refuel his energy. Set aside a limited downtime that allows him to do what he is interested in and some time to allow him to complete his homework. Do remember that he needs a break during his homework period too. Slot in some break time in between so that he doesn’t feel burn out. Stick to the routine and once it becomes a habit, getting homework done will be less of a battle.
- Always be there to support
You do not need to be always sitting by his side to help him do his homework, but you can be there to support and motivate him. You can be there to guide him along when he struggles with any challenges he faced. Knowing that he has the support, he will have more confident in completing his work.
Sounds easy? In fact, it is not. It takes a lot of emotional struggle to calmly listen to your child and working together to establish a routine that both agreed upon. As parents, we always want to be in control and we have expectations on our children.
Remember you are not responsible for your child’s homework. You can assist your child but not help him with the homework. Motivate, teach, support him along the way. With your parental support, he will be more motivated, confident and responsible for his own work.
Have more tips to share or you have a better tool to fight homework battle?
Do comment below and we’ll be happy to share it with other parents too!