1. Space to work
Set aside a corner of your lounge or your child’s bedroom where they can have a desk to work at. Respect their space but offer to keep it tidy for them – it always makes work feel easier.
2. Get organised
When there’s no room for your kids to have their own ‘work station’, let them choose their own folders and file boxes to store homework notes, pens etc to keep everything organised. This is their ‘mobile office’. It’s also a great way to put a full stop to the assignments too – the box is closed and put away.
3. Make the easy bits feel like fun
Find lots of great games to help keep minds ticking over when paperwork feels dull. The BBC website has online games that support homework that are suitable for infants, kids and teenagers, covering everything from maths games to literacy, history and music.
4. Let them take control
Show your children that you trust them to create a plan of action to get homework done, EG ‘Let’s get your school work done after football practise but before TV’. Then help them stick to it. Read our five hassle-free tips on Managing homework time.
5. Have a homework goal
Even at secondary level, homework should often take no more than 20 minutes at a time. If it’s part of a bigger school assignment, fire your child’s enthusiasm by finding films, stories, exhibitions etc that develop their understanding of the homework subject. Ask their teachers for more information. See How to talk to your child’s school.
6. Keep them well fuelled
Offer your child healthy snacks as they do their homework. For those who aren’t sensitive to nuts, they are great for concentration, especially walnuts. Or try low fat yoghurt with fruit sticks (EG apple slices or mango) to dip in it, or wholemeal toast soldiers with hummus or Marmite.