Gillian Miles

Advice for Parents

Homework or ‘study time’ is a major issue in any household. Children need to do some form of homework or studying in order to keep up. Most children are given some formal homework every day. Children who are coping at school generally do not have a problem with doing homework. However, children who are a little slower in learning may find homework an unpleasant task. This homework or study time should be a time of fun and learning for the child, not an unpleasant time. Try to establish a routine and do the homework at the same time every day. Decide when your child works best after school. Perhaps the child needs to play first and then settle down. Other children may want to do the homework first and get it over with. Discuss with the child what the best time is and then explain that that time each day will be set aside for homework or study and nothing will get in its way. It is much more beneficial to do 10 to 15 minutes every day rather than one hour during the weekend. Yes, I know children have activities on every day. You need to take this into account when planning your homework time. It will take some planning, but you will all benefit in the end and you and the child will be happy

Many children think that their parents cannot help them with their work, as they are not teachers. Prove them wrong by showing them just how much you can help them.

There are a few points, which you need to bear in mind when you make the decision to help the child:

GM-Tick  Exercise extreme patience!! This is very necessary as many children take a long time to think and parents become restless and they think the child is not trying. The child is trying and just needs time.

GM-Tick  You are trying to motivate your child to learn so be enthusiastic and show lots of excitement when they get things correct. Make a fuss, share their joy of success.

GM-Tick  Praise and reward play a vital role in learning. Reward after everything a child does. This may just be in the form of “well done”, “excellent”, “fantastic” etc. Use your imagination and use terms that you know make your children feel good about themselves.

React favourably throughout your help sessions. You need to keep the child positive so be positive yourself. Avoid all negative words. The word “No” is not in your vocabulary when you are helping your child!!!!!!! Imagine how you feel every time you try something and someone says “No”. This, is very difficult to start with as most parents use “No” quite a lot. Try words like: “Are you sure?”. “Have another look”. “Lets check your answer” etc. Or just make a sad face. This tells them they should look again.

Ensure you are working in a relaxed environment. Recall thrives when the situation is calm!!!
Making mistakes is a necessary part of the learning process. If we don’t make mistakes we cannot learn. The most successful people are where they are because they have made so many mistakes, and learned from them. Let your child make mistakes. Let them know that it is O.K. to make mistakes and then let them learn from these mistakes.