How much homework should they get?

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Grandgad helping kids with their homework
Your child will start to get homework when they are five years old. This may seem very young to you, but it won't be the sort of homework you remember getting. It will probably involve doing puzzles or playing a maths game. They may also get a few words to practice too. You will have to sit and help them do it, but it should only take a few minutes each night. Young children usually get very excited about doing homework because it makes them feel 'grown up' especially if they've watched older brothers and sisters doing theirs. Problems don't tend to happen until they're older.

How much is too much?

As your child gets older, they will get more homework, but it should still be fun and something they enjoy doing. Their state primary school should be following these government guidelines on homework
Year 1 and 2 - one hour per week
Year 3 and 4 - one hour 30 minutes per week
Year 5 and 6 - 30 minutes per day
If your child regularly has far more than this, or if homework is something they dread and find very difficult there are several things you can do

1. Set aside a few minutes to sit down with your child and read the homework yourself. Then ask them to read the instructions aloud and break them down into small, simple chunks. Now work out together what it means.

2. Help them as much as you can with the task itself. When they start getting the hang of it, praise them to build their confidence. Older children should, ideally be doing most of their homework themselves, but if this isn't realistic yet give them as much support as possible - without actually doing it for them!

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3. If you still don't feel it's getting any easier and you're beginning to dread their homework yourself, it's probably time you talked to your child's teacher.

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