The British School Bern » International School in Bern Switzerland

Challenges of Homework

This workshop investigated the demands of homework and strategies for helping children during homework time.

I love being able to learn to help my children and find out about great ideas to make things work. Thanks for providing the opportunity for us to work better with our own children on their education.”   – Parent Comment

Thank you for providing this useful information and insight into the different capabilities of children and how to make the most of them.”  – Parent Comment

I thought this workshop was a great opportunity to share ideas with other parents and teachers. The activities we did helped me learn more about how to help my child, and that is fantastic.” – Parent Comment

Thank your for giving us the opportunity to learn more about how our children learn and how to help them. I hope there will be more workshops like this soon.” – Parent Comment


These tips were generated by the participants during the workshop. Thanks everyone!

“Schools should teach kids how to learn, and parents should teach them how to work by establishing work rules and work ethic at home.” – Dr. Mel Levine, Co-Founder and Co-Chair, All Kinds of Minds

  • Set a consistent time each day for doing homework.
  • Set time limits depending on the task and the child’s ability to concentrate.  During the breaks the child can do whatever they want.
  • Use a timer.
  • Organize homework (Do the easiest work first and the hardest last, or vice versa)
  • Have your child decide which assignments they can do on their own and which they need the help of an adult. The easiest tasks should be done before the more complex ones.
  • Break larger tasks into smaller, shorter or simpler tasks.
  • “Jump Starts” – If needed help your child get started on a task. (i.e., help write the first paragraph, clarify instructions)
  • Organize materials needed to do homework. (pencils, erasers, books, calculators, etc.)
  • Provide materials only as they are needed. (i.e., instead of giving your child an entire pack of pencils only give them two pencils at a time.)
  • Get rid of distractions.
  • Have a quiet work area.
  • Talk about the homework. Can discuss why we need to learn this or practice this skill. Try and make it relevant to real life. Try and make it interesting.
  • Check work in progress. If an assignment is given on Monday and is due Friday, ask your child to show you what she has finished each day or to show you a plan of what will be done each day between Monday and Friday.
  • Drill with flash cards.
  • Play memory games.
  • Make a homework checklist.
  • Try new learning tools (different books, puzzles, quizzes)
  • Try different learning activities. (bounce a ball while doing math drills, singing, use internet, etc.)
  • Use their strengths to help them weaker subject areas.
  • Praise children and encourage them as they work. Build enthusiasm and make it fun.
  • Support your children when they need help doing homework and getting organized.