Updated: Mar 22
A child's success as a learner is influenced greatly by the support he or she receives from their parents. A home-based learning program fosters a partnership between school and home and inspires our children to love learning.
Educationists have long debated the purpose and value of homework, but we believe that homework serves the following purposes:
Assisting parents in knowing what their children are learning in class and providing them with opportunities to share their work.
Assist in consolidating and reinforcing skills.
To further promote enthusiasm for learning.
To foster a home-school partnership.
Practice key skills, such as times tables, spelling, reading, and handwriting.
To develop self-discipline and good organization habits in preparation for secondary school.
How much Homework should my child get in Primary School?
The Department for Education used to recommend that Key Stage 1 children should do an hour of homework each week, rising to half an hour per night in Key Stage 2. This advice was abolished in 2012, giving schools more freedom, however, many schools still follow the old guidelines.
Formal homework is rarely assigned in Reception; however, children are likely to bring home books to share with the family, first reading books, and keywords to learn.
In Years 1 and 2, children are likely to have one or two tasks set per week. This could be literacy or numeracy worksheets, a short piece of writing, or work relating to the class topic.
In Years 3 and 4, many schools set two homework activities each week: typically, one literacy and one numeracy.
In Years 5 and 6, children may have two or three pieces of homework each week. To prepare children for SATs and the transition to secondary school, the amount increases. These activities might include maths worksheets, researching a topic, book reviews, and grammar exercises.
Alongside formal homework tasks, most children bring home reading scheme books from Reception on wards, with weekly spellings and times tables from Year 1 or 2.
Homework battles are familiar to all parents. Home learning can be a challenge for any child, regardless of how conscientious they are, and it can be difficult to know how best we as parents can help.
We asked our team of teaching professionals how they help their own children with homework, here are some of their top tips: -
Get it Done Early
Look to complete homework at the beginning of the evening, so that once it’s done, you can all relax. Also, make sure that the most difficult and least interesting tasks are done first.
Reward a positive attitude
Star charts are a great way of rewarding children for settling down and doing their homework. The stars they earn can be added up and exchanged for treats.
Always set time aside to hear your children read every day and review spellings, however other projects should be done on their own. Providing guidance is great, but try not to give them ideas, it is imperative that children learn to think for themselves and have their own ideas. By encouraging independence, children can take pride in what they have achieved.
Prior to children tackling their homework, it’s a great idea to spend a few minutes thinking, discussing, brainstorming, and planning. For example, if your child is struggling with a particular maths concept, you can do lots of practice questions on Wedge white boards together. It will be comfortable for you and your child to use dry-erase whiteboards together because both of you are familiar with them. And since the work on the board can be easily erased, your child will be less intimidated about making mistakes, helping you to build their confidence effortlessly without having to worry about technical issues.
Break it Down
Breaking homework down into small tasks ensures that children do not feel overwhelmed. Also look at different ways of learning things like spellings and times tables, for example, rhymes, puzzles, games, and songs are all ways to make tasks fun.
Try and do homework at the same time every day. Children like routine, and it makes it easy and predictable for everyone to remember. Scheduling homework for the early evening means that it will be completed before tiredness sets in.
Praise & Encouragement
Compliment the effort not the result. If you don't let your children know you are proud of them when they try, they won't have the courage to give it a go. You should not leave them with the impression that you only value them if they are doing well. Any effort will always pay off, fear of failure is counterproductive.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If your child gets stuck on a certain task, don’t spend too long on it, just move on to the next part. Revisit the tricky activity at the end, they may be able to tackle it as they’ve taken some time away from it.
Raise problems with their teacher
If your child encounters any issues with their homework, then you need to raise the concerns with their teacher. It’s imperative that teachers are informed if a child doesn’t understand something.
Be a positive role model
Avoid negative language regarding schoolwork. Never share your own educational weaknesses with your children as they will likely replicate and say that they’re not good at it either.
Visit different places to support topic-style homework.
Focus on the Method
If your child is stuck with something, ask them to talk you through their methodology, this will often prompt them to remember and get to the answer.
Be on hand to Support
When children are in primary school it is a good idea to supervise their homework and be on hand to support them if needed. By sitting down with your children and making time to work with them, you are setting a good example and helping them to develop good study habits. Through supervision, you can praise and guide them if they get distracted.
Stick with your child’s methods
If your child comes home with an activity that involves a method you are not familiar with, do not try and teach them a different way. If you are unable to work it out quickly, and your child cannot remember, contact the school the following day to ask for an explanation. Schools are fully aware that methods have changed in all subject areas from the teaching of English grammar to mathematics.
Set a Time Limit
Do not allow homework to drag on all evening. Set a time limit depending on the type of homework. If it’s a project, plan it out over a few days so that your child can manage it easily.
Do Not Stress
As opposed to instructing, ‘do your homework’, read tasks out loud with your child, and make sure they have everything they need to complete the work. Rewards like screen time can be granted on completion. The main thing is – do not get stressed out about homework, anything other than reading, spelling, and times tables is unnecessary for primary school children.
Showing an active interest in your child’s homework, whatever age they are, is important. As your child gets older, you may feel less connected to their school journey. Taking an interest in their homework not only shows you care but also reveals what they are learning and how they are progressing. By building connections, you will give your child self-esteem and confidence so that they can achieve their learning goals and succeed academically.