Sometimes homework can become a battle for parents. Children often put off doing their homework until the last minute or end up not doing it at all. Parents often fear that not doing homework can lead to failing at school. This often causes conflict between parents and children.

So what can you do help?

Try to give your child a chance to talk about their school work, perhaps by discussing how their day went and what they learned. Don’t worry if you feel you don’t understand a particular subject. By talking to them you will be supporting them.

Help your children take responsibility for doing their homework by discussing what they have to do and how long they think it will take to complete. Always praise your child for their hard work at school.

Many schools and colleges have use homework diary for children to make a note of what homework they have to do and when they need to hand it in and which parents sign. This helps you and your child know what is required and that their homework is being marked by a teacher.

Create the right environment for your child to do their homework in

The most important thing to do is to help your child keep to a routine. Some children prefer to do homework when they get home from school, while others prefer to do homework later in the evening. Let your child decide what is right for them.

Ideally homework should be done somewhere with a large work surface, good lighting and with no interruptions. A dining table is ideal. Many children like to have music playing while they do their homework, but try and encourage them to keep it at a sensible volume.

Be on hand to see if they would like some help and look in on them to see that they haven’t got distracted by something else.

Many types of homework require reference material so encourage them to use a local library, or search for information on the internet.

Help from your child’s school

If you are struggling to get your child to do their homework, speak to their teacher or make an appointment with the head teacher so they can help.

Many schools run lunchtime or after school clubs that are specifically for children who struggle to do their homework at home or need support to help them complete the work.

At the Koushinkan Aikido Oxford martial arts club we include ‘mat chats’ in our classses, in which we discuss topics like homework and responsibility. We also set tasks like a quiz that the children can complete and learn how to research answers to the questions set.