18: Homework

Although homework can be a valuable way of supporting a young person’s education and developing their organisational skills, it can also be a problematic issue for many young people (and particularly for LAC). Some pupils see homework as unfair as they’ve spent all day at school and don’t see why they should then sit at home and do more.  It can cause arguments at home and some young people struggle with the carer’s change of role into the authority figure of a teacher.  If it does cause problems, it’s best to speak to someone at school (possibly the Class Teacher, Teaching Assistant, Head Teacher, SENCO, Learning Mentor or Designated LACT) and attempt to address the issue together.

By helping with their homework and discussing their learning you are demonstrating that you’re interested in them and their education. Additionally it will give you, as a foster carer, greater insight into their strengths, weaknesses, interests and frustrations all of which will assist you in school meetings.

The following tips are from http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/primary_support/

  • Find a quiet place at home to use as a homework area. It needs a flat surface, a good light source and the right equipment eg pens, pencils, ruler, scissors, glue.
  • Be aware of modern teaching methods, eg in long division. You Tube has lots of videos that may be helpful to you.
  • Plan a homework timetable and agree on when your child will do their homework.
  • Allow your child to have something nutritional to eat before starting on homework.
  • Discuss any homework tasks with your child and how it connects with what they are studying at school.
  • Turn off the TV – but you could have music on if they find it helpful.
  • Don’t give your child the answer in order to get a task finished. Instead, explain how to look up information or find a word in a dictionary.
  • Don’t teach your child methods you used at school. It could confuse them.
  • Try not to let homework become a chore. Keep it fun and make it a special time that you both look forward to.
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