How many of us relish the thought of leaving work at the end of a busy day so that we can get home and start our second job of homeowner, cook, cleaner, partner and parent? If we’re honest, I think most of us would agree that we would much rather go home, chill out, eat a meal already prepared for us, watch t.v and then go to bed.
However, most of us have a schedule for our evenings that means that we get on with our second jobs when we get home in order to have some ‘me time’ later on. We either learned this from our parents or carers and the example they set, or we learned it from chaotic childhood homes and a desire for our homes to be more organised!
Not surprisingly, most, if not all, of our children feel the same about homework at some point in their school life. Younger children tend to be more excited about showing parents how well they are doing at school and for most of them, the homework they are given tends to be more fun than your typical GCSE homework.
This is often followed by a period of trying to delay homework for as long as possible. Gradually, if we are lucky, and have instilled good homework habits, our children become mature enough to realise the benefits of having adequate time to complete homework tasks to the best of their abilities.
In between these times, we can help our children to develop good learning habits which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. One way we can do this is to set a time during which they will complete their homework, including their Good2Learn practice, every evening. As children get older, we can involve them in this decision so that they begin to take some control over their learning habits.
Ideally, children should have around an hour of free time before they go to bed after finishing their homework, especially when working online. The younger the child, the earlier the bedtime, so this will be an important consideration in deciding with your child when homework should be done.
Next, consider other factors that will impact their homework schedule. For instance, the time they get home from school; after school activities; the amount and complexity of the homework they are expected to complete each evening; their level of independence in completing homework; your availability to help and support, if needed; your meal time; and finally, and very importantly with older children, your child’s preference within the three time slots.
Many of us like to put things off until the last minute and while there may need to be some flexibility across the week to allow for other activities, as far as possible try to keep to the same time every evening, including Friday evenings: they may have the whole weekend to complete their homework but doing it on the Friday continues the good learning habit AND leaves their entire weekend free to do other things.