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our homework system

Having a homework system can help to engage with your children after school.  However, not every parent agrees with the concept of homework. 

How does it roll in our house?  Well I have three children, and they are as different as they come...

  Additional needs

One child has additional needs, she has moderate to severe dyslexia among other things.  She struggles immensely with day to day activities at school.  

A very different parenting style is needed to help for her to achieve the best we can.


  reluctance

One child, just doesn't like school... they would much rather be outside, charging about on a scooter, roller skates, or climbing trees.

Motivating this child to do something is very challenging, especially when seeing a sibling not doing anything.


  eager

One child, loves school.  Loves to learn, and cannot wait to start something new.  

A third parenting style is needed, and while this one seems fantastic, it takes a lot of hard work to satisfy the thirst for knowledge.


Managing the three children's needs is a little mind boggling I have to say the least.  

What I am advising isn't the "right" way, it's just the way I have approached this challenge in our home.


Homework system

First and foremost, as the parent you need to understand what the school states is needed.  Is it just daily reading?  Is it reading, spellings and maths?  Is it a set amount of homework or a homework project per term.

With the infant / junior school that my children have attended the amount of homework has varied.  So when you meet on parents evening...

  • Does the school have homework issues?
  • Do you have homework issues/challenges that you need to discuss?

In my experience make sure you know what is needed and by when.  I found with my reluctant child, spelling tests were being completed midweek, and we hadn't always had a chance to practice them before then.  Knowing this allows you to adjust your homework system to accommodate.

Our homework system is viewed over a week and a term.  The reason for this is partly due to my work schedule and when the children's homework is due.  So those in Junior school it looks like this...

monday

Reading after school

Club night


Tuesday

Reading after school

Plan homework project

Wednesday

Reading after school

Online study

Thursday

Reading after school

Online study

Friday

Reading after school

Night off

Weekend

Homework Project


Homework System, wolf reading buddyMy son and his wolf reading buddy


The reading we do when we get in from school.  For my eager child this is not a problem, and they are ready and waiting.

For my reluctant child, we have motivated this by giving pocket money for completing the work.  Currently this is either 10p per page, or a £1 for the whole book.  This is currently working, and my non-read of last year, now reads at least 3 times per week.  It isn't the 5 that the school would like, but it is more than not at all.  

What has also happened, is they are finding other books/materials that they do not mind reading.  I have said I don't care, if it is the instructions for the cook, a recipe, or War & Peace, as long as they are reading something that is all that matters. 

So my word of advice on this is be relaxed on your approach, choose your battles wisely.


Homework system - online study

Homework System our youngest studying onlineOnline studying with IXL.

This is probably the biggest "win" as a parent I have discovered, is an online tool to help with Maths & English.  The package covers from Reception year, all the way to Year 13.  The cost is manageable and buildable dependent on your family's need.

The other factor I find really supportive is this is for independent study... so for my eager child it is an absolute godsend. 

The program is IXL, they describe themselves here...

IXL is an immersive learning experience that provides comprehensive, curriculum-aligned Maths and English content for reception to year 13.


So what motivates the children?  

The fact that there is a reward structure, collecting animals or virtual toys.  In real time, they also receive certificates that they can print off and take into school to show their teachers.


secondary school - homework system

For Secondary school the homework system is taken a step further.  An online diary management system means that parents and students alike, can view the child's homework. 

I actively encourage my additional needs child to concentrate on doing her homework the day it is set.  I found this the most useful way of managing the homework.  Homework is a shock to their system, as in Infants/Juniors, it was all a very real struggle that she did not cope with.  

As a parent I do the following...

  • Check the online schedule on arrival home.  
  • Cross check that the homework has been completed.
  • If not completed agree a time that child works on it, and whether they need my help or not.

As this child is now in year 8, we have successfully gone through one year, and tweaked the routine, to build a successful homework system.



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