If you are the parent of a primary-aged child, homework can feel like a minefield that you don't want to cross at the end of an already busy day, Here are some steps that can help you to manage homework if it is feeling like a hard-to-navigate area of your family life. 

Speak to the teacher

If you are not sure how much input you should be putting into the homework each night it is well worth discussing the expectation with your child's teacher. Generally speaking in the younger ends of primary school parents are supposed to be quite involved with listening to their child read and helping them to practise sight words and simple rote tasks. Homework tends to be very short at this time. As the child heads to the senior years of primary school the expectation is usually that they take on more responsibility for their own learning and homework becomes a more independent task, and longer in duration. 

Additionally, if your child has other obligations during their week, such as playing in a sports team or participation in cultural or religious events, it can be useful to let the teachers know so that they can adjust the homework schedule appropriately. This can reduce the stress for everyone if your child has a busy day once a week and cannot get their homework completed that day. 

Motivate your child

Children are not naturally blessed with time management skills, so it can be useful to work with your child to work out a way to get all of their obligations done while still having time for fun. Discuss with them the best way to schedule their time, as some children may respond best to getting their homework completed first thing after school leaving them time to play while others may prefer to have a time to unwind and play before they complete their homework.

Create a rewards system in either case, where each day of completed homework leads to a tick or star that can be used for more pleasurable items. Children might like to earn an activity (such as screen time on a computer or tablet), work towards earning a special toy/book or get a food based reward, such as desert after dinner, from their rewards chart. The perfect motivation and time management will vary from child to child so maintain a flexible attitude towards towards what works best for your family.  

Creating positive homework habits in primary school creates a foundation for future educational success throughout primary, secondary and tertiary education. 

For more information and tips, visit websites like http://www.cns.catholic.edu.au.