Why is Homework Important for my Child?

Homework gives students another chance to review class material. Over the course of every school day, students learn many new skills and information.  Research shows that, recapping new content when it has recently been taught, embeds the information more securely than if the information is not quickly revisited. 

Sometimes teachers set homework tasks that build on what has been learned in class rather than simply revise it.  Sometimes tasks are set which prepare students for lessons which are going to be taught.  By doing this homework, students are gaining more knowledge or readying themselves for what they are going to be taught.  Failure to do such homework will affect students’ progress.

Another skill developed by doing homework is perseverance. Most students will not manage to solve all the tasks the first time without guidance from their teacher. By persevering and tackling challenges independently, students are developing resilience which is an essential quality for their adult life.  Students learn self-esteem through doing homework. Completing tasks independently will help them develop confidence about their abilities.  Homework helps students to learn how to work independently.

Homework makes students more responsible and develops time management skills. When they receive homework from different classes, students immediately start to manage their time so that they can complete all the tasks that have been set.

Homework set in lower school helps to prepare students for the needs of exam preparation and revision which they need when approaching their GCSE exams.

Another benefit of homework is the fact that the teacher can gauge how much of a lesson was understood by the students.

How Parents Can Help with Homework

Homework can sometimes feel like a chore.  Pupils might love doing homework for one subject but resist doing it for another which is perfectly natural, however, at St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School we expect pupils to complete a reasonable amount of homework for all the subjects that they study because we know that, when it is done well, it really boosts pupils’ progress.

Parents can help in a range of ways:-

  • Take an interest in your child’s schoolwork.  Pupils should be making a note of homework that has been set in in their journals and teachers record homework on Synergy so parents can see what homework has been set and when it is due in.  Parents can also see when achievement and behaviour points have been awarded, so can praise their children when homework has been done well, but also know if their children are not completing the work that has been set.  Parents should talk to children about homework worries and help their children to find solutions to any difficulties that they have.
  • Create a suitable space for homework.  If children are lucky, they might have their own bedroom with a desk for study, but many children share bedrooms which can be a distraction.  Even those with their own bedrooms might not be able to avoid the distractions of a t.v. or their mobile phone.   If you suspect your child is spending time down internet rabbit holes, consider introducing time away from mobile phones for some of the homework that they need to do.  Discuss and make allowances for the online homework that may have been set such as Educake or Mymaths.
  • Set a schedule and stick to it.  An hour could be set aside for brothers and sisters to complete homework with minimum distractions so that it is done and dusted and they can have the rest of the evening to themselves. Children need to have a routine in place so they can know what comes next.  Explain to them what their plan is and help them stick to it.
  • Be interested and encouraging.  Try encouraging your child regularly when they're learning new things and praise them every time they accomplish something new. This will help them build confidence and make sure they enjoy doing their homework.  Success creates motivation, but not everyone can be successful all the time.  Sometimes your child will struggle with the work they are doing, but reassure them that everyone struggles sometimes.  The important thing is not to give up.  Rewards your child’s efforts, not just their achievements.
  • Allow for plenty of exercise and sleep.  Children who don't get enough exercise and rest will have trouble maintaining their concentration and energy levels, which will make it hard for them to focus on their homework.  Make sure your child gets at least 8 hours of sleep per night and that they’re doing some kind of physical activity every day.  Don’t forget to monitor your child’s use of digital devices before bedtime because studies show that using digital devices (whose screens emit blue light) devices before bed can delay or disrupt sleep due to the effects on the pineal gland, melatonin production, and circadian rhythm.

And finally,

  • Stay positive and remain calm.  If you go into this with a positive attitude, you can help your child to develop a positive mindset regarding homework which will benefit current and future study enormously.  Good habits will be created for life.  Don't get overly worked up over every mistake or problem they have; just be there to support them as they learn. If things get out of hand, try reining in any negative emotions before they affect your child, who may feel confused or frustrated by the situation.  And if you have real and sustained concerns about your child’s homework, get in touch.  Contact your child’s subject teacher or form teacher or the director of learning for their year group who will be more than willing to help.

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