Most of us can remember that sinking feeling, thinking of the homework still to be done after school, and often following an already taxing day. Homework is unlikely to have been the highlight of our school years.
Homework is not going anywhere, but this time, it’s our children’s turn. Some things don’t change, but, the way in which we can encourage our children to engage with it certainly can, and for the better. Learning at home need not be a chore, and nor does it need to be dull. Parents and care-givers, have an important part to play, and, for those of us with school-age children, hitting year 3 or 4 is a great place to begin to form good habits; habits which are best formed early on.
Firstly, establish, and maintain a routine with your child. Many children work best when they know what to expect, and when to expect it; routine is your friend. Help your child to work at a time and in a place where they can avoid distractions and concentrate on the challenge before them.
The right tools for the job
Your routine will enable, and prompt you to teach them particular topics, delving deeper into subjects that pique their interests. AE Publications’ books are ideal for busy people who have neither the time, (nor the inclination!) to get to know each topic in detail before they impart their new-found wisdom to their child. Picking up one of our titles for as little as twenty minutes, a couple of times each week, will help to give you, the parent or carer, the confidence and know-how to support your child as effectively as possible.
By year 4, children should have learned their times tables, from 2x up to 12x, and can be supported by our times tables workbook. Our key stage 2 maths books cover all areas of the national curriculum and are ideally geared towards helping you. For maths in particular, building a strong foundation early on will enable children to take on more complex problems as they progress. This will ensure that your child avoids gaps in their knowledge that would otherwise cause them to trip up later on.
Practice makes perfect!
Next, practise, practise, practise. This is the best way for young minds to absorb and embed knowledge. You can break from routine here, too – there’s no harm in asking, “what’s 4 x 7?” over breakfast or tea, or whenever it’s convenient.
Young minds are motivated to learn
In turn, practising will take advantage of young children’s natural enthusiasm, which is best captured when they are at their most motivated – young minds actively want to learn. Get in early; your child will ask questions, and demand to know more. This is the time to capture, and nurture, a love of learning.
Once your child has established a routine, and developed good habits, their thirst for learning will remain with them, all the way along their educational journey. For us adults – things don’t necessarily change. The homework might not, strictly speaking, be ours, but we can still use our children’s homeworking as an opportunity to learn, engage and spend valuable time with our kids.