If your child is unable to complete their homework on time, and is getting into trouble because of it, you need to work out the reason why.
We have pinpointed three different reasons as to why your child may be irregular with their homework, along with advice on how to overcome the problem.
1. Do they have problems understanding their syllabus?
The reason for irregular homework may be simple lack of understanding. The child may simply have trouble absorbing and applying all those tricky definitions and concepts. This is quite a significant problem, as it may cause them to avoid the subject all together, falling back severely as a result.
How can you help?
• Break down the concepts
Simplify the information, linking it to concepts and scenarios your child can easily understand. Such a link will enable them to grasp concepts in a better way.
Make sure to sit with your child every night—or as often as possible—and go over their homework with them. This will give you an idea of where they’re struggling, giving you more room to help them improve in these areas.
• Learning style
Each child has a different learning style. Some absorb information better if they can ‘see’ it; others prefer to ‘hear’ their teacher or parent explaining it to them. Try to work out which sensory learning style suits your child best and then apply it to your child’s home studies. There is a variety of techniques the child’s private tutor can utilize during private tutoring sessions.
You can show your child how to break down the information into small diagrams, give them videos to watch online, or simply talk them through challenging concepts. Understanding their learning style will enable you to understand which learning technique works best. In time, your child will begin to be regular with their homework.
2. Are they too slack or working too hard?
The reason behind your child’s irregular homework may simply be a lack of routine or a too-heavy workload. Both cases will cause your child to avoid their homework, and both can be fixed.
How to help?
• Improvements to routine
If your child is sleeping late, waking up early and spending their day half-asleep in class, they will naturally make blunders in their homework or even neglect it altogether due to exhaustion.
As parents, you need to set a routine for your child to follow. Specify:
-What time they should go to bed
-How much TV they should watch
-A fixed ‘study time’ (this should be mandatory)
-How much they should socialize with friends and/or indulge in other leisure activities
Setting these rules will help the child cope with their workload and complete their homework on time.
• Is their workload too heavy?
If your child has a proper routine and is fresh and well-rested, but is still irregular with their homework, the problem may lie with the school. Perhaps their workload is far too heavy for a child their age. Lay down your concerns before the teachers and devise an appropriate solution along with them.
2. Does the child have a learning disability?
A child with a learning disability is not stupid, slow or dumb; they are just wired differently. They will understand things on a different level and, in some areas, they are far smarter than ordinary children. Did you know that children with learning disabilities like dyslexia often have extraordinary mathematical abilities? If your child has been receiving home tuition, discuss their progress with the tutor; this will give you an idea of what to expect and how to proceed.
Children with learning disabilities often struggle through their work, lagging far behind their peers. This is why it’s very important to identify signs of such disabilities as early as possible. It allows the parents to find ways to help their children, and it gives the child proper time to adjust to and enjoy their studies.
How can you help them?
Ask a professional for advice on helping your child but in the meantime here are some ways to help your child.
• Find out as much as you can about the disability
This will help you to guide them in a better way.
• Help them develop their strengths
Although children with learning disabilities struggle in one area of learning, they may excel in another. Try to identify what they’re passionate about and help develop it. This will enable them to enjoy their work instead of seeing it as a chore.
• Engage a private tutor experienced in special needs kids
A private tutor experienced with your child’s condition can best handle him or her and help your child to improve their studies and focus. You may want to seriously consider engaging special needs tuition.
Whatever the reason behind your child’s irregular homework patterns, you just need to understand it and guide them accordingly. Setting the standard, pushing them to stick to a routine and helping them to cope will enable your child to keep up with their studies and to get their homework finished on time.