Last week I promised some tips to help your child with their homework but first I would like to talk about Open Day 2018. What a fabulous event! The glorious weather certainly helped but what really made the day was all of our current families and students participation.
It was lovely seeing people chatting, enjoying the atmosphere, making the most of all the food options and enjoying being part of the day. This year we had more performances than ever before and it was a great opportunity for our students to show off their impressive skills.
One of the downsides of being the Principal is that I don’t have the opportunity to see the performances as I am based in the Undercover Area all day greeting new visitors to the College. However, there were so many videos and photos taken it was easy to catch up on everything that happened. For the first time we were even able to broadcast some of the performances live on Facebook for those who couldn’t make it on the day.
I hope you all had an opportunity to have a sneak peak at an item from our musical, ‘The Little Mermaid’. It was the perfect insight into the quality and calibre that we will enjoy in the June performances. have a feeling that tickets will sell out quickly now that everyone knows the high standard of our musicals so book early to avoid disappointment.
Now, back to six ways to help your child with their homework. With all the changes we have seen in one generation, one thing remains a constant – the excuse for not doing homework. When parents were at school, the number one excuse used by 31.7% of us was, “I forgot”. Now that our children are at school, the number one excuse remains the same and the only difference is 0.1% with 31.8% of them saying, “I forgot”!
These were the results of a study that researched more than 1000 parents and 500 children between 11 and 16 years old. Digging a little deeper, the study found that the main reason homework was often not completed was because we all wanted to do something else or were too busy with out of school interests.
Helping your children with homework is challenging but there are some things you can do that will help. Here are just six of them.
- Know the teachers and what they are looking for. Make the most of opportunities like our parent-teacher conferences and meet the teacher evenings, parent information nights and all the information on Connect.
- Set up a homework-friendly area where distractions are kept to a minimum. It’s best for primary and secondary students to study somewhere other than their bedroom so you can monitor and engage with them. Keeping the same area helps their brain go into ‘homework’ mode and they will slip into good habits more quickly.
- As much as possible try and schedule regular study times. This is easier for primary than secondary students as there are times when secondary students have a bigger workload. Know your child and what works best for them. If your senior student can work late into the night and still be fresh and ready the next morning then that may work for your family. If they struggle to get out of bed after a late night then they will need to begin their homework earlier in the afternoon.
- Make plans with your child. Find out what the expectations/assignments are for the term ahead and sit down with them to set realistic goals. Use the Assessment Calendars on Connect as visual charts that can be marked off when goals are met. If it looks like there are going to be problems, act early. Encourage your child to ask their subject or class teacher for help. If there are still problems then email their teacher yourself or set up an appointment time.
- Make full use of our Maths Help club which meets in the library every Thursday from 3pm to 4pm. We have qualified teachers taking it in turns to run this club and it is an excellent opportunity for our Year 7-12 students.
- Most importantly, never, ever do your child’s homework for them. They will not learn and you are subconsciously sending them the message that they are dumb and cannot do it themselves. Instead, ask leading questions that will guide them down the correct paths and praise their efforts when they get there.
Remember, homework is important for your children to do well at school now and grow into mature, responsible adults into the future.
Mike Curtis, Principal