Tips for Encouraging Independent Learning – Homework Hacks

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Advice from General LV

  • Their duties are their responsibility

In high school, the emphasis is on more independent learning, and a parent trying to give detailed advice on a homework topic can sometimes be a hindrance rather than a help. As much as you may want to help them do well, ultimately they are responsible for doing their homework. Instead, talk to them about their homework, what they feel confident about, and what they are less sure to study. You can ask them how you can help them and how you can help them help themselves.

  • Learning independently does not mean learning alone

It’s independent learning, but that doesn’t mean they have to be isolated with just a company manual. It’s about reflecting on HOW they learn, looking at different ways of doing it with an independent mindset. They can study in groups with friends, they can stay in school to do so whenever possible – or they can study in groups online. Maybe they and a friend can go to a library to study in a quiet place away from home. Or they may ask you or other family members questions. This Bitesize article has tips for studying and studying away from the office.

  • Don’t rush and tell them the answer

If you know – it’s really tempting to just say the answer – but it won’t help them figure out the process to get there. So try to help your child identify what is really required and what to find out. Try to guide them through the question. Break it down if you need to – what’s the part that makes them want to cry, and what’s the part that REALLY makes them want to cry? And if you don’t know the answer yourself, then you are both learning something new!

  • Choose the best tools and use them wisely

Have your child choose the best resources for the task. Sometimes it can be the Internet, sometimes it can be books. For them, it is about thinking about the different things they have access to that can help them – asking a teacher for advice on how to use the school library. It’s also good to make sure that you are helping your child understand the importance of cross-referencing their sources – which means checking their facts in more than one reliable place – such as a textbook or a reputable website. This Bitesize article contains more information about using reliable sources


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