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My kids only like sports, gaming and chatting online. How can I get their attention to homework?

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Here is a list of questions that you can answer with Yes, No or I don’t know:

Is the homework meaningful for your child?
Does your child see and know their purpose in the homework?
Is the homework part of what they are interested in?
Is the homework providing a range of skills, knowledge and actions?
Is the homework connected to the activities in class?
Can the child do the homework by themselves?
Does the child get to use technology at school?
Does the child have opportunities to communicate with other students in class?
Has the child collaborated in diverse student groups regularly?
Is there meaningful time allocated for the socio-emotional development of the child?
Has the child had enough play at school?
Is the homework catered for the child’s individual needs and abilities?
Is the child feeling supported at school?
Does the child’s parent(s) support the child at home?
Does the child’s parent(s) play with the child at home?
Does the child’s parent(s) learn with the child at home?

All of these questions influence children’s learning at home. Answering No and/or I don’t know to any of these may highlight an area where a piece of the problem lies. It is important to note that if they are playing sports, chatting or gaming online, there lies a wealth of untapped multiple intelligences, knowledge and skills the school and parent/s should be incorporating.

Modern schools adopt a new approach that gives homework a completely different meaning. Some modern schools:

  • Choose not to provide homework as it is traditionally known; instead, they provide extension activities from the classroom experiences that can help consolidate and enrich their learning.
  • Don’t call it ‘homework’; rather, it is time used for problem-solving, inquiry, student action or project-based work.
  • Use homework as a gateway to enhance the curriculum and socio-emotional development for the individual.
  • Base their systems and practices on modern educational research, where homework does not contribute to academic achievement.
  • Value a holistic, developmental approaches to developing a human, rather than traditional, standardised approaches through testing, expectation and measurement.
  • See education as not only about knowledge but also about a range of humanistic values, transdisciplinary skills and multiliteracies.
  • Deliver not only the home country language and English but also an additional language, so that the children can be internationally minded.
  • Provide further support in resources, activities and skill development that is recognised, communicated and shared with the student and parents so that learning can happen anywhere in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Open their doors to have parents involved in the assessment process, as well as inviting families to share, discuss and collaborate with the teacher and student.
  • Allow students to reflect and construct goals to focus on which is then shared and supported by parents and teachers.
  • Invite parents to celebrate the world by contributing to learning not only of their own child but of the entire school.
  • Have a vision and mission statement that helps to shape the future of each and every child.

To answer the question in the title, you can get their attention to homework more easily if there is a change in how homework is perceived and constructed in your educational institution.

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