You already know that supporting your child with their homework helps them learn effectively. In fact, research has shown that parental involvement at home and school can improve students’ engagement, motivation, and academic achievement.

However, when it comes to homework itself, there’s reason to be cautious. Helping students with homework can make students less likely to take responsibility for their own learning, thus reducing their level of academic achievement.

So, what is the best way to help your child with their homework? In this article, we share 4 top tips for creating a supportive learning environment that builds confidence and encourages them to take responsibility.

Create a positive learning environment

If your child already has a space to do homework, make sure it’s clean and tidy. If they don’t have a specific learning space, create one.

Don’t worry, creating a learning space doesn’t necessarily mean buying a new desk or dusting off your carpentry skills (although if you want to do those things, go ahead). You can create a dedicated learning space within on your dining table if needs be.

What your child really need is three things:

  • space for their books and laptop,
  • a flat surface for writing on, and
  • a suitable chair to sit in.

Most importantly, the learning space should be quiet, clean and clutter-free. That’s because clutter is distracting; removing it will help your child focus. So, turn off the TV, remove the dirty plates, and encourage them to put their electronic devices away.

Learning environments aren’t just physical – they’re psychological too. So remember to give your child plenty of praise and encouragement, and show an interest in what they are learning.

Use homework routines to build responsibility

Today’s young learners have busy lives, and homework can sometimes become overwhelming. If your child gets anxious or frustrated, setting a homework plan is a fantastic way to put them back in control of their learning. Even better, writing a plan is something you can do together. So, sit down with your child and guide them to:

  • read and understand the homework task
  • break the homework task into smaller logical chunks
  • discuss how much time is required to complete each chunk
  • work backwards from the deadline and create a timeline
  • put the timeline where the child can see it
  • encourage your child to mark completed chunks to see the progress made on the task

Reduce distractions.

Our homes are full of things that can distract your child from learning – online gaming, social media, and toys are just a few. Make a note of the potential distractions in your home and look at ways to limit them while your child is studying.

This may involve turning off your Wi-Fi (once you’ve downloaded any resources needed for the homework task) or making a contract with older children to limit screen time. For younger children, clear toys away out of sight while your child is working.

Some distractions are less easy to manage, young siblings being one. You can’t work miracles, and you can’t be both parent and teacher at the same time. It may be that the best way to help your child learn is to occupy their siblings so that older children have space to concentrate.

Communicate with your child’s teacher.

Successful remote learning requires partnership between parents and teaching staff, and communication is key to this partnership.

Communication allows you to ask questions, gain clarity about set work tasks, and share important updates about your child. So, make sure you have a way to communicate with your child’s teacher. This could be via email, home-school books, or a digital education app like ClassDojo.

If your child has learning challenges, they may find it harder to organise their workload, and access the learning/reading material provided. In such cases it’s vital to work with teachers to identify and remove any learning barriers and identify what adaptations can be made to support your child with remote learning.

Remember to maintain boundaries though – teachers have their own lives and own family commitments. It may be convenient for you to send an email at 9pm on a Sunday, but it’s not reasonable to expect them to respond outside of their working hours. Respecting boundaries is essential to maintaining a positive working relationship with your child’s teachers.

George Alexander Tuition is a specialist maths and science tuition agency based in Central London. We support children aged 1118 with a variety of termly tuition packages and exam coaching from 11+ to A-Level. We also provide coaching for the UCAT assessment. To find out more, contact us on You can also follow our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and check out our handy maths tutorials on our YouTube channel



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