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Although some children dread the idea of having to do homework, it is important to note how important a homework routine is for your children. Homework isn’t something to entertain a student, it is carefully thought about by their teacher to support them in areas where the national curriculum requires them to be as knowledgeable as possible. Not just this, homework teaches students important life skills such as time management, organisation, how to prioritise themselves, motivation, and the concept of seeing their growth with is rewarding in itself.
Homework should be as important as meeting a deadline for work. It is believed that students may struggle with learning certain things if they don’t practise independent learning at home. Parents are responsible to aid the progress of homework. However, one thing that is sometimes forgotten about is the environment in which we learn in. Schools are kitted out with the best equipment possible to make a teachers job easier, however, a home is not. If your child has not got a designated study area, now is the perfect time to create one!
How important is a homework environment?
Very. Without an environment to work in, we can’t expect children to do their best. Parents, you will find that having a well-organised space, along with support can increase your child’s learning development. Not just this, having a specific area can create a great opportunity for parent-child bonding.
Harris Cooper, chairman of the department of psychology at Duke University, stated in the New York Times that there is a distinguished link between students who complete homework and how well they performed at school. Also, a report conducted by the EEF (Education Endowment Foundation) found that completion of homework can add almost five months of progress to a child’s education without further effort from the school.
Homework environments don’t have to be fancy or expensive, a simple fold up table will suffice if not, the dinner table is always an option! But remember, that area must be free for when homework time starts.
Why is homework environment important?
Homework acts like a bridge between school and home, parent’s ability to educate their children has a big positive impact at school – children come home with homework, parent-child bonding time whilst doing the homework, the child returns to school fully knowledgeable on past subjects.
Having an environment to do homework with your child can also bring you closer as you can enjoy learning and exchanging ideas together.
Having a good homework environment has the following benefits:
- A specific environment for homework sets the scene for a routine.
- Homework environments create spaces for parent and child to bond whilst learning.
- Homework specific environments promote organisation skills which all children should learn for later life to complete deadlines.
- Prepares younger students for later education.
- Helps children to practise retaining information.
- Allows children to express themselves by doing the work somewhere where they find inspiring.
- Creates a sense of responsibility, having somewhere to keep tidy and clean is a great responsibility especially if the area must be used after the homework is complete (the dinner table).
Tips for the best homework environment:
- Chose one place – You can try the “homework spot” for a week and ask your child what the space might need or is missing.
- Make a plan of action: what homework first? How long for? Etc.
- Gather supplies: pens, pencils, etc.
- No electronics – Distractions can make children lose focus and become uninterested – it is wise to switch off all electronics around the area to avoid any sort of distraction.
- Specific homework environments can be decorated and stocked up with items your child might need to complete their homework – coloured sheets, scissors, A4 paper, crayons, pencils and pens – not only this but an adult that can give them a helping hand if needed.
- The location must be well-lit and comfortable.
- The location of your homework spot should be somewhere with the least distractions.
- Some students benefit from relaxed music whilst studying. If you have Spotify prime, there are multiple playlists you can use such as those which have lo-fi beats, healing frequencies or nature music. You can also find these on YouTube for free – although, they might have ads.
The Homework environment checklist:
Feel free to download and print!
How to help your child:
Besides helping your child set up the perfect spot for them to study in, it is also wise to support them through their study time.
Here are some ideas on how you can support your child during study periods:
- Start homework within the first hour of getting home. This way, the information learn throughout the day is still fresh in their mind, resulting in finding their homework easier.
- Offer them healthy snacks to keep them motivated.
- Allow small breaks if there is a lot of homework to be done.
- And if you need help, ask the teachers! Teachers are more than happy to support parents involvement with their child’s education. Therefore, do not be shy to ask for advice or get involved with clubs the school might offer.
- Be their motivator and their monitor. Sometimes it’s not easy to finish school and go home to do more work, therefore it is important to motivate children to finish their homework: check over their work, make competitions of knowledge at home, but most importantly have fun all whilst learning.