|Let your children do their own
Photograph: Guardian archive
Being a parent or caregiver is an extremely diffucult job.
- When you come home from a hard day at work, the
last thing you want to do is to become an unpaid teacher.
- You will be given conflicting advice, from schools, from teachers, from other parents and
of course from your children. But unlike teachers you are free to
decide which view you agree with.
Ask any two adults about their views on
homework, and you can start a debate. Their differences of
opinion are not really about homework in isolation - they come from
different ideas about school, education (not the same thing) and
society. For some, school is a preparation for work, while for
others childhood is a special and precious time.
Here are a few pointers to help you get
Being a role
Try to set an example - don't feel you
are not good enough. If you are reading this, then you are
obviously trying to help. A few hours of individual attention can
make all the difference to your children.
The age of the
How much you help a child with homework
will depend very much on his or her age. As time goes by children
should become more independent. In fact, you may worry that they
are not asking you to help them. Assist with homework where appropriate. If your child is having difficulty understanding their work or what is required, explain the work to them patiently. If you are unable to assist them yourself, refer them to an appropriate source e.g. the Internet, books or a friend who might have insight into the work required.
Talk to the
Most schools welcome parents taking an
interest in homework. Find out the policy, let your children work
without distraction, and contact the school if you think your
children are experiencing difficulties with school work.
Let go of your
The teacher's assessment of learners' work
is not a judgement on you. If you do their work for them,
then your children will not learn much. And sooner or later the
teacher will notice the difference between work done at home and
work done in school.