How to support your foster child with homework

Parents and carers who take an interest in their children’s homework have a better knowledge of their education. Additionally, children who are able to complete homework tasks successfully are likely to develop a good working attitude.

Young people are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows children and young people that what they do is important.

Here are some tips that may be of help:

Know the teachersand what they’re looking for. Attend school events, such as parent’s evenings, to meet your child’s teachers. Ask about their homework and how you should be involved.

Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure children and young people have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.

Schedule a regular homework time. Some children and young people work best in the afternoon, following a snack and time outside; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.

Help them make a plan. When they have a lot of homework or when there’s something they find particularly difficult, encourage your child to break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a plan for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.

Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls.

Make sure they do their own work. They won’t learn if they don’t think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Adults can make suggestions and help with directions. But it’s their job to do the learning.

Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about their work, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.

Praise their work and efforts. Post their achievements on the fridge. Mention academic achievements to relatives.

In all situations, it is important to build a close relationship with the child’s school as this will help everyone work together to support the child concerned. If you have any queries or issues, speak to your placement manager for advice and support.

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