You are tired, deadbeat coming from work where of course on your way back you were stuck in horrendous traffic and then just as you are about to close your eyes for a well-deserved sleep, your kids come to you as their superhero dad/mum with their trouble called Homework. First of all, Let me say this. ‘E pele’ (A yoruba word in Nigeria for saying sorry). It can be really trying and difficult. I was going to do this post earlier but some two or three days back, I watched Bisola Aiyeola’s video on instagram on how teachers give homeworks to the kids but really, the work is for parents! I told myself, its time to discuss this. Did I hear an ‘Amen?’
First, the best thing to do when handling this 'crisis' of homework is not to look at it as a crisis. Click To Tweet When you keep showing to the kids how burdensome homeworks can be, you are telling them to begin to look at homeworks as being burdensome and they can project this negativity to other aspects of school life. If you are too tired, please explain to them that you need a minute or two to rest and that you will assist later without sounding too negative.
Let me tell teachers/school owners this. Homeworks are to reinforce what has been learnt in school so that the child can practice and become perfect. When a child cannot do his/her homework by him/herself then the objectives of that lesson has not been fully met. While I am not saying parental assistance is not necessary, it is not the best when a child cannot do homeworks to an extent, independently. When a child has to constantly depend at all times on the help of an adult to do school work then the teacher needs to work harder.
I must also add that parents must be carried along in the curriculum of the school. Parents must have the scheme of work/coursework of the child so that they can also prepare to handle problems. Lets face it, some parents have not been to the four walls of classrooms in years. Giving them a copy of the activities/scheme/curriculum can also help them to read up some of these things too. Parents, you should also demand for it so you stop looking like a novice in front of your kids all the time. It’s embarrassing! Schools must discuss with parents through Parents’ Forums what they expect from the child academically and how the parents should play their roles.
Parents, homework time is the time for you to do your own assessment of what is being taught to your child. School practically occupies a lot of time in the lives of kids and homeworks are avenues to be a part of the part of their lives that consumes their whole time. See it as opportunity to bond with your child too. In fact, if you are sensitive, homework time is a very revealing time. The kids will talk about their challenges with a particular subject, teacher or the school. It all depends on how you approach it.
Furthermore, parents, don’t delve into homeworks as if they are all yours to answer. Please let the child do it and come in when you think it is necessary. In fact, get a seperate book or worksheet for the child to do a rough work first without your assistance and then do your assessment. With that, you just might find out what the underlying problem of the child is in tackling that subject. Please don’t rush the child unnecessarily. Let them take their time. Some parents need to understand that some kids are slow learners but the are learning all the same. Constant spanking won’t do the trick.
Homework does not have to be a hassle. You just need to be more strategic, patient and skillful in handling it. Please drop questions in the comments box and I will do my best to answer them.