Children, especially right-brained (holistic) children, need to know why they have to do homework. What’s the benefit of doing something at home that you’ve just done in class? How does homework fit into the general scheme of their education? Explain to your children that homework is important to reinforce skills that have been taught at school. It also gives teachers a chance to monitor the students’ progress. If the children allow it, homework can also be a great way to learn to work independently!
Analytic children, on the other hand, aren’t as interested in the big picture. If they refuse to do homework, it’s probably because the task at hand seems to big and they have trouble breaking it into manageable details. Help them organise the work into step-by-step portions and sub-tasks. Create a list of all the things that have to be done that day and let the child tick them off as they go along.
(If you’re not sure whether your child is holistic or analytic, please take the quick test by clicking on www.creativelearningcentre.com and letting your child fill in an LSA questionnaire.)
Bear in mind that you need to set up an appropriate environment and atmosphere for doing homework. There are many elements to consider when setting up your child’s homework area: the lighting, the temperature, time of day, the correct furniture (that is, furniture that is correct for your child, not furniture that the so-called experts say is good for education purposes), music, and so on. Some children like to have their parents close-by, to interact with and to have them check progress; while others prefer to be left alone to get on with their tasks. Children who thrive on variety might like the study area moved or redecorated several times a month, while children who prefer routine need to do homework at the same time of day and in the same spot every day.
Let your child do the LSA to discover exactly what he or she needs when doing homework.