How schools can support parents helping with homework
Homework: What schools can do to support parents and pupils
As any school will know, pupils vary wildly in their attitudes towards and ability to complete homework. Some children are naturally motivated and organised, so need a limited amount of support. However, many find the task of completing homework a burden that they just can’t quite get to grips with.
There are all sorts of reasons why these students struggle to complete or stay on top of their homework. For some neurodiverse children, it might be less to do with a lack of motivation and more to do with their inability to remember and organise. In addition, lots of children don’t have peaceful home lives. They may live in volatile homes or may be carers outside of their school time, making it difficult for them to find the time to complete homework.
Of course, outside of all of these factors, it’s important to remember when setting homework that you’re relying on children, who don’t have a fully developed prefrontal cortex, to remember and initiate a practice that requires a lot of discipline. As a result, homework is always going to be something pupils struggle with to some extent.
Challenges parents helping with homework face
On top of these difficulties young people may face with completing homework, it’s not exactly a walk in the park for parents either. If their children can’t remember being set homework, there’s nothing much they can do to support them with it. And for those parents whose children can remember being set homework, the question is: did they write it down? Do they know when the deadline is and what they have to do?
Then, there are challenges with the work itself. If parents helping with homework don’t know the methods children are being taught to solve problems or are unfamiliar with the subject matter, they can worry they’re teaching their children the wrong thing.
Why schools need to work alongside parents to provide homework support
This is why it can be incredibly powerful to provide additional support to parents and pupils to help them complete their homework. Because homework, as it happens, really matters. It has been shown to have a positive impact on learning, improve study skills, teach accountability, and contribute to time management skills.
But should parents help with homework? Well, yes. In short, enabling parents to support their children with homework is a really important way of encouraging parental engagement, which in itself has been shown to contribute to better academic outcomes. So, schools should absolutely be working alongside parents to help them support their children. But how can schools do this?
Encouraging positive parent-teacher communication
Ultimately, to help parents support their children with homework, schools need to bridge the gap between school and home. The best and most efficient way of doing this is with communications software designed for schools.
With specially designed communications software, parents and pupils should be able to find everything they need to know in one place, such as an app custom designed for your school. This means that parents can easily stay up to date with everything they need to know, including tips for parents to help with homework. Communications software can also facilitate secure, two-way communication between teachers and parents.
While school communication software can be used for a variety of purposes, it can also be used to support homework. For example, the Homework App from ReachMoreParents provides a simple, online space accessible at both school and home, where teachers can upload homework assignments, complete with deadlines and supporting materials. Essentially, a Homework App provides a virtual to do list that parents can easily access to find out what their child needs to do and when they need to do it by.
So your school can spend less time chasing and reminding, and parents can feel more engaged in school life.
Tips for parents helping with homework
- Establish a routine
With a homework app that states what their child needs to do and when, it can be much easier for parents to establish a homework routine and stick to it. Having a routine can also really help to combat procrastination if homework time simply becomes a normal part of a child’s day and can help to teach children discipline and time management.
- Keep homework time as homework time
Part of establishing a routine is also about setting boundaries. It may seem like schools want pupils to spend all evening doing homework, but that simply isn’t the case. So, it can be a good idea for schools to encourage parents to set a time limit on how long a child does their homework for, with the rule that once that time is up the rest of their evening is for them to do what they want with.
- Bring homework to life
In school, there can be limited opportunities for discussion about certain topics. That’s why schools should encourage parents to take the opportunity to expand these topics at home – and bring learning to life. When it comes to a subject like history, there’s a real chance for parents to share their experiences about living through or learning about historical events – and pupils could even interview their parents to gain more understanding about these topics. Not only does this broaden knowledge, but unites students and parents in the learning experience.
- Support but don’t take over
If parents know the answers, it can be easy for them to get ahead of themselves and do the work for their child. However, we know this doesn’t support learning. Of course, parents aren’t trained teachers, so it can be useful to send a homework policy letter to parents or a parents’ guide to homework to help them identify where they’re supporting and where they might be taking over.
How can our Homework App help both Parents and Students?
At ReachMoreParents, we understand how useful it can be to keep parents in the loop about homework and encourage them to support their children. That’s why our Homework App for Schools is designed to:
- Remove the need for students to write down tasks in the classroom.
- Give parents access to their children’s assignments and the opportunity to participate in their learning.
- Give teachers the flexibility to set homework online, quickly and easily, and embed words, images, videos, and links as they need.
By using the Homework App from ReachMoreParents, not only can schools increase parental engagement, but they can prevent pupils forgetting their assignments or deadlines, instil accountability, and increase homework uptake rates, leading to better academic outcomes overall.
To find out more about how to support parents and pupils with homework using our range of software for schools, click here to book a discovery call at a time that suits you, drop us a line via our enquiry form, or give us a call on 01509 221 349.