Help your kids with their homework

Your child has a lot to deal with at school but you can take a little of the strain for them by supporting and guiding them through their homework. This help can have a real impact on how well they succeed at school and beyond. They may not be that keen initially but by showing your support your child will learn from your positive attitude which, ultimately, will help them to succeed at their education. It's estimated that the average parent spends more than two hours a week helping their child with their homework. If you are smart you don't have to take quite this much time out of your week to make a real difference. Here is a range of ways to help you get involved with your child's education at home.

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Remember to turn the TV and radio off. Try having a ban for some of the week on TV time and computer games. You will find your child will do better at school and at home with some time away from those distractions.

If you are still struggling to get your child to meet deadlines and finish a project on time try using a timer. Schools will usually recommend an amount of time to spend on homework each evening so why not get a timer and stick to this. This should promote quality over quantity.

Rewards are one way of getting your child motivated but don't overdo it because they won't always be rewarded for their schoolwork, especially when you are not there to help them. It's generally recognised that unexpected rewards are the best type. Praise too is a good way of getting your child motivated, perhaps you can keep a chart at home that maps their progress.

What about technology? The computer and the Internet are here to stay and the good news is you don't have to fear them. The web has some excellent websites that can be combined with regular study tools to create an invaluable learning resource. These sites are also free.

Some helpful learning resources:

BBC Schools revision is a large online revision resource for students at the Keystage 3, GCSE, Scottish Standard Grade and Higher, and Welsh TGAU exams. It also provides AS/A2 level revision materials. There is a facility to sit mock exams too. There are games designed to help children learn as well as audio revision files.

Absolute Shakespeare. We have all struggled with the Bard at some point during our education. Many of us won't have been lucky enough to have benefited from this website. It includes all of his plays, sonnets and poems. There is info about the Globe Theatre and plenty of study guides too.

Britannica Student is designed for middle and secondary school students. It's not just the encyclopaedia either there are also facts and figures from leading magazines and journals. There are links to selected websites, a world atlas, dictionary and thesaurus. Britannica Student does charge a subscription fee. But you can log on to it for free at your local library.

Homework Elephant has 5,000 selected resources to help students with their homework. Experts have carefully vetted the websites listed in this resource, so there's no risk of encountering anything unsuitable. You'll find links to websites offering advice on writing essays and how to construct good grammar. There are links to Volcanoes Online and a Geography Portal.

Homework high is Channel 4's dedicated education web resource. You can type in questions and a page of potential answers comes up. Simply re-phrase your question if you don't get what you want. There is also a study skills section which offers advice on writing assignments and how to revise.