Checklist for helping your child with their Home Learning
Getting home learning done may be a struggle, especially when your child does not feel any motivation to do it. However, there are lots of ways to support your child - implementing these tips into your daily life can help home learning time go a lot more smoothly. This in turn can support your child during their academic development. Evidence suggests that one of the most powerful things a parent can do to assist their child’s academic development is having clear home learning guidance.
Chailey School expectations are that Year 7 and 8 students should spend 3-4 hours per week on their Home Learning; Year 7 students will start with English and maths for the first 7 weeks. Year 9 students should spend 4-5 hours on their Home Learning. Year 10 and 11 students should spend 5-6 hours per week. All students will be expected to do independent study, on top of the Home Learning set by their teachers, in preparation for their exams.
But how should you go about this? Here is a checklist:
Having a set time to do home learning that works for both you and your child can make “home learning time” go a lot more smoothly. Try and schedule this time in for when they are most alert and ready to learn. If possible, encourage your child to choose which time to do their home learning themselves: by letting them have a say, it may make them feel more responsible and more motivated to complete it.
Once you have a set “home learning” time, it is key to stick to it. A clear routine can help your child feel part of a predictable environment and it can soon become part of their normal daily routine. This would mean that they are less likely to dread and procrastinate finishing their work.
Having a designated workspace to complete their home learning can get your child into a working mindset and improve their focus when they are there. Preferably, this would not be in their bedroom but in a public space. A quiet corner in a communal space is the best option as it allows you to monitor the learning. This could be in a separate room, or a table that is not being used for anything else.
Ensure that they have all the equipment they need before starting on their home learning, as this could lead to distractions if they realise they need something after they have started their work. Also, ensure that the workspace is tidy as this could also help boost their productivity.
Nowadays, the main distractions for students tend to be their electronic devices, including mobile phones. While your child is doing their home learning, try and remove their electronics; if the home learning requires a device, it would be better if they used a laptop or a tablet. This can allow them to get their home learning done faster and to a higher standard.
Having regular, short breaks during home learning time can allow your child to feel more attentive. If possible, exercising during these short breaks can be very useful (this can even be a quick dance break), as this helps boost brain power.
Allow your child to take charge of their home learning. Let them make mistakes! Research has shown that students who did their home learning by themselves ended up doing 10% better in exams than those who did their home learning with their parents helping them. If they have been struggling and have completed the set amount of time, it is helpful that you write on the home learning or email their teacher that they have tried their best.
Organisation is a key skill for your child to learn and develop. If they are given many tasks to do, sit with them and ask them what they think the best way of dividing their time is. Give them suggestions, if there is another easier way. Then, make a plan and help them stick to it in order to complete all of their tasks.
Look at the Home Learning set on Edulink with your child. Praise them for Home Learning rewards and talk to them about any Home Learning sanctions.
Every day, ask your child to tell you about what they have learned in each lesson; they should record this in a book or on a spreadsheet (see below). It supports the brain to “chunk” or “associate” information into groups or build models of the information so it’s easier to use, explain, access and recall. This should take roughly 5 minutes.
9. Say, “I am so proud of you!”
This simple phrase has very powerful effects and can help your child feel encouraged. Often, children spend longer doing home learning due to the fear of failure. Using the phrase, “I’m so proud of you” can reduce this fear by letting your child know that they would always have your support. In turn, this may give them more confidence and increase their self-esteem, allowing them to achieve more when doing their home learning.
(Adapted from InnerDrive resources)