Balancing Busy Lives: Tips for Managing Homework in Junior School

Posted on June 21, 2024

Over this term I have had many discussions about helping parents to manage homework. Students lead very busy lives these days and homework does need to be planned or scheduled into their week. For younger students’ homework is often revision of what work they have covered in class with the addition of reading. Reading being the most important element at this early stage.

Students at St Paul’s School in Years 3 to 6 work more independently and should start to need less supervision for homework. As well as regular homework, it would be likely that this age may have projects and assignments with due dates. Time management and organisation becomes part of this learning.

Every family situation is different so it’s important to support children to find the best routine that works for them and the family. Some families have homework time in the morning, some do a little every night and others use some solid time on the weekend. It really is a balance.

Below are some tips to help set your child up for success with homework.

  • Ask your child about their homework, know what they are learning about and when homework/assignments are due. Students at St Paul’s School in Years 3-6 use diaries to record their homework.
  • Get into a routine of doing homework at a set time, ideally a little each day at a time that suits the family dynamics.
  • Have a set place where children can do their homework, with the equipment they’ll need – pens and pencils, highlighters, scissors, glue, scrap paper, ruler, calculator, printing paper, a computer with internet access and a printer if required.
  • If there’s no set homework, encourage your child to do some reading. For younger children, it’s great for them to read aloud to you. For older ones, ask them to tell you about what they have read.
  • Don’t jump in and give answers, time pressure can often make adults do this to hurry the process along. Homework is about helping children become independent learners.
  • Encourage your child to start projects/assignments/show and share as soon as they receive them – this will reduce any night-before stress.
  • Your child needs to do their own projects and assignments. There’s no point submitting work done by anyone other than the student. Teachers need to know what students can do independently – it’s the best way of planning lessons and providing additional support if required.
  • Turn off TVs, mobiles and other devices so there are no disruptions.
  • If your child is having difficulty with their homework, contact their class teacher for help. Homework should not cause stress that impacts on the student or cause major disruption to the family.

Good routines established early help to build long term benefits in this space. If your child is having some difficulty with homework routines please come and have a chat about this.

Marianne Connolly
Director of Junior School

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