Homework is a vital part of your child’s educational development. Teachers use it as a method of knowing whether your child has fully understood the work they’ve been doing in class.
Unfortunately, homework can be a source of stress and arguments at home. Quite often, parents do not know how to help their child with their homework.
The way we learn and study maths may have changed a lot since parents studied at school. So it can be difficult to help children if you don’t know the method they have learnt.
Here are some useful tips on how to help your child with their homework.
If you don’t know the answer, don’t panic.
Some parents think they need to be a fountain of knowledge. When in reality you might not immediately know the answer to every question that comes your way.
You’re probably not going to immediately know the answer to all of the homework questions – but that’s okay. Instead of panicking, take it as an opportunity to work through the task with your child. Children actually respond better when they see you’re learning together, as opposed to simply being told the answer.
Try to make maths fun.
It’s true. Maths is boring for most people. But you can try to make it more enjoyable for your child. And if they’re having fun, it won’t feel like work to them.
One way you can improve your child’s maths skills out of school is by getting them involved in everyday maths. Encourage your child to help weigh out ingredients while you are cooking. Ask them to work out how long until the next bus arrives, or how much change is due at the shop. It’s easier than you think to incorporate maths into your child’s everyday routine.
Another way is to use songs and games. There are loads of resources online for you to use including fun videos and tutorials. The internet can allow you to broaden your child’s knowledge. Plus, there’s no shame in Googling the process for tricky a maths question. Just make sure your child actually understands the process, and doesn’t simply copy down the answer.
Set specific homework times.
Children thrive on routine. We know that everyday life doesn’t always permit you to follow a routine but if you can set specific “homework times”, it will really help your child to focus. Even if it’s just a rough estimate, like straight after they get in from school or after dinner.
Most importantly, find a quiet place away from any distractions. Although you want to make homework less of a chore and more fun, make sure your child understands that they need to complete their homework before play time. And be sure to reward good work.
Work in short sections.
It’s important to remember that children have much lower attention spans than adults. On average, a 10 year old will work best in 20-30 minute periods. Of course, you know you child best and how long they can focus on a given task, so tailor the time scales to suit you.
You can extend their attention span by introducing breaks in between . Consider doing 20 minutes of homework, have a 5 to 10 minute break and then a further 20 minutes. Try not to push your child too hard. Remember they need down time too!
Consider taking an online course.
You may find that the way children work out maths problems has changed since you learned maths at school. And you’re right! Schools are constantly changing and updating methods of learning. So you may feel left behind or unable to help your child with these new methods.
One way you can renew your own knowledge of maths is by taking an online course. Maths courses can be taken online very easily nowadays. You can fit them around work and do them in your spare time.
Not only will this help you help you to help your child, but could also improve your everyday life. Maths is everywhere, and with your new skills, you’ll feel more confident when you come across daily problems like bills, taxes or budgets.
Improving your maths skills can be very beneficial in many ways and it’s much easier and affordable than you might think.