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22/10/2021

Tips to help your family deal with homework

Healthy Living: Do your homework for back to school immunity

Mixing with plenty of other children, the start of school is a likely time for the little ones to pick something up picture: pixabay

Homework time - a phrase that sends a shiver of dread down the spines of children and parents alike!

Most Leitrim schools let kids off lightly for the first week or two when they returned this term, but by now homework has returned in full stream and carefree Summer evenings are a distant memory as nights start to get darkers and colder.

We could argue the pros and cons for and agaisnt homework, but for most school children in Leitrim homework is a reality we all have to deal with.

We have some tips and tricks up our sleeves that will hopefully help ease the pain of homework in your house:

1. Consistency

Pick a time to start homework and try to stick to it daily. It is much easier on everyone (adults included) to set aside the same time everyday if you can schedule ahead. Everyone's schedule is different, but we allow some downtime after school before we return to books. Homework should also be completed at the same place every day.

2. Stay focused

Obviously the aim is to keep children focused on their work, but this is also good advice for parents/ guardians. If you are checking emails, on social media, watching TV or making dinner at the same time you are downgrading the importance of homework. It is not easy when you have a few children of different ages vying for your attention, but try to give at least 20-30 mins of your time to get some quality work completed.

3. Be organised

Pencil, rubber, colours, a drink, a snack .... etc searching for these each day allows for disruption. Get the homework space set up so you can blitz through the work without unnecessary breaks. (Toilet breaks are permitted!!)

4. Minimise distraction

Again this one can be impossible with younger children tearing through the house. But in general keep screens, TVs and music off until work is completed. If there is a quiet spot away from household noise this is ideal especially for older children who need less help.

5. Breathe ... a lot and praise

Patience is the key, most parents are not trained teachers so it can get frustrating when your child just isn't getting the maths equation/ writting skills/ spelling. Remain calm, try not to raise your voice and praise their efforts. Homework is not about having the right answers all the time, it is about practising skills and identifying problem/ challenge areas. If your child is struggling with a certain part of homework regularly, notify their teacher and work out a plan.

6. Reward

We are not advocating screen time or treats BUT sometimes needs must! It is best to avoid screens or other activities that your children enjoy until after homework is completed to motivate them.

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