At Overdale Junior School, we want to give every child the chance to succeed. Homework is an essential part of supporting your child’s learning, however we understand this is sometimes easier said than done.
Here are some tips, reflecting the guidance from the British Dyslexia Association, on how you can support your child, whether or not they are dyslexic.
1. Talk to the teacher
An honest discussion with the teacher about the amount and suitability of homework should always be the first step in ensuring success for your child. Class teachers work hard to provide a range of homework which is often differentiated to meet the needs of a range of children. If your child is finding this hard to access, then finding solutions to this is helpful for both yourselves, your child and the teacher. A simple solution might be to break the task down into smaller parts, enlarge the paper, change the font or change how the work is presented.
2. Get into a routine
All children benefit from clear routines.
- Daily reading is essential at any age. This helps children to develop and master literacy skills. You can share reading in a range of ways; reading aloud, reading to your child, sharing picture books, listening to audio books and reading newspapers and magazines. Talking to your child about their book is equally important. This may focus on the author’s choice of words, the imagery created, the characters, the plot.
- Gather equipment e.g reading book, book bag, swimming kit etc, the night before. Leave this by the front door.
- Put a timetable of the week’s events up. These are given out at the start of the year or could be created with your child. This will help to organise equipment or homework expectations.
3. Getting started
- Check your child knows what to do.
- Divide tasks into manageable chunks. Agree times between breaks. Maybe use an egg timer.
- Give rest breaks.
- Quality rather than quantity
- Read instructions aloud.
- Practice examples with your child.
- Praise your child at each stage of work completed. This may include being able to organise themselves or find the correct equipment.
- Be realistic. Know what your child is capable of. All children work at different rates and different levels. Praise their achievements.
4. Promote independence and organisation
- Encourage your child to use a computer. Let them use a spell checker and encourage the skills of touch typing.
- Children can read through their work by reading aloud to check it makes sense.
- Have a pencil case and a quiet work station. Children find it hard to concentrate in busy, noisy areas.
- Keep work in folders. Colour coding can help those who find reading difficult.
- Use online copies of homework to find out what is expected. If this isn’t manageable, talk to the class teacher to ensure a clear record of homework is taken home.
- Check with the class teacher to make sure homework is handed in.
5. Study Skills
- Use post it notes, coloured pens, stickers, mind maps and pictures to organise thoughts.
- Children may benefit from coloured overlays, pencil grips, pastel coloured backgrounds (not black on white), flashcards and other practical resources.
- Numicon can support maths teaching, as it is a practical way of seeing numbers.
- If writing is not the objective, scribe for your child to ensure the wealth of can be ideas easily demonstrated.