This document is also available in pdf format (983k)
Arabic version part 1 (pdf 333kb) part 2 (pdf 362kb)
Bengali (pdf 618k)
Cantonese (pdf 805k)
Hindi (pdf 621k)
Punjabi (pdf 617k)
Urdu part 1 (pdf 912kb) part 2 (pdf 982kb)
Parents, carers and other family members can and do make a real difference to children's education. When parents and schools work together, children do better. Children learn a great deal at pre-school and school and you can add to that learning by supporting them at home. For example, showing an interest in their homework and talking to them about it really helps them to learn. With support and encouragement, children find it easier to get into the homework habit.
So why is homework important?
Homework helps your child to:
- learn how to organise and manage their time
- take more responsibility for their own learning
- practise and build on what they have learned at school
- develop confidence to deal with frustrations, overcome
difficulties and solve problems
- learn and work independently in the future.
Homework helps teachers to check your child's understanding
of classwork and keep track of their progress. It lets you find out what your child is doing at school and get involved in their learning. For many reasons, parents can find it difficult to support their children when they have homework. This leaflet may help you
to get involved.
Who is involved?
Homework arrangements work well when the parents, the child and the teacher understand the roles they play. The school can explain how you as a parent can:
- let the school know what you expect
- know what the school expects from your child
- know what the school expects from you
- contact someone if you want more information or are concerned about homework.
So, if you are unsure about anything, get in touch with the school.
Did you know?
• When schools and families work together, children do better.
• Children learn something well when they talk about it or explain
it to someone else, so asking your child about their homework
really helps them.
• Children who do homework regularly throughout their time at school
benefit from the equivalent of roughly an extra year's schooling.
• Between the ages of 5 and 16, children spend only 15% of their lives
in school so supporting them at home really improves their chances of success.
• Parents and families are by far the most important influences on children's lives.
What's helpful to know about homework?
It's quality that matters, not quantity - the kind of homework your child does is often more important than the amount.
Even if you have little time, or don't know much about the subject or level your child is studying, you can still be involved. It's not your time or ability, but a positive and encouraging attitude to your child's learning that really matters. Homework is for children to do, not for parents.
How we learn is as unique as our fingerprint so every child might well approach homework differently.
The school will be able to give you further advice on how you can support homework. Many schools also have homework clubs or supported study groups that your child can go to at lunchtime or after school if working at home is difficult. They offer somewhere for your child to do their homework, get help from teachers, and get access to books, materials, computers and printers.
You can find more information about homework, or any aspect of Scottish education, on Parentzone. www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk
Useful links and contacts
Channel 4 Homework High www.channel4.com/homework
BBC Parents www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents
BBC Bitesize www.bbc.co.uk/schools/revision
BBC DynaMo www.bbc.co.uk/education/dynamo/parents
Grid Club www.gridclub.com
Parents Online www.parentsonline.gov.uk
Tel: 0808 800 2222 www.parentlinescotland.org.uk
One Parent Families Scotland
13 Gayfield Square, Edinburgh EH1 3NX
Tel: 0800 018 5026 www.opfs.org.uk
Parent Network Scotland
Tel: 0131 555 6780 www.parentnetworkscotland.org.uk
This leaflet is the first in a new series. It highlights the real difference parents can and do make to their children's learning. Together with local advice you will have on the arrangements in your child's school, this series will offer information to help you become better involved in your child's education.
If you would like to contact us, or suggest topics for future leaflets, please visit www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk. This leaflet will be available in community languages and alternative formats from your child's school and the Parentzone website.
This series is prepared in partnership with the Quality in Education Centre (University of Strathclyde) and Children in Scotland.