Every parent knows how difficult it is to keep on top of their teenager's homework. When your kids grow older and are in secondary school you may feel less inclined to interfere.
Of course, your teenager should complete homework unsupervised and unless you are a schoolteacher yourself you may not be able to help your teen anyway, but you should still take an interest and keep track of their homework.
You need your teen to keep good habits and do their work to the best of their ability. Here are some tips on keeping track of your teenager’s homework.
How to keep track of your teenager’s homework:
Check their homework diary.
Simple but effective! Checking your teenager’s homework diary is key in keeping track of what they are doing. See for yourself what homework they have and when it is due. This way, you can advise your teenager when they are being irresponsible by not completing homework ahead of the deadline, for example. You can also intervene if they are failing to pay proper attention to their work.
Your teenager will have exams which will give you an idea of how they're doing but for class tests, your teen may get away with not mentioning them. Ask your teen regularly about their tests and how they are coping with them. Start a little chart at home of the subjects with the test results so you know how they have been performing. Yes, their teacher will have these, but you may need to have them to look back on. This helps when your child is deciding on subjects for senior cycle.
Encourage your teenager to be organised.
It’s not up to parents to ensure that everything is done so you need to ensure your teen learns about this themselves. They should have a planning system (or whatever works for them) to keep track of their work. Writing everything down and having it on a wall planner will help immensely, and when you want to query what they are doing you can check their schedule and know.
Make sure they have a good working space.
A desk with good lighting is key and it does make the homework checks a lot easier if you know where everything is. A few shelves for books or cupboards are the best way to go and a place to set aside previous tests if needed. Invest in a comfy chair for your teen so they are comfortable sitting for long periods of time.
Talk to your teen.
A little chat goes a long way and while we are suggesting keeping track of their homework, we aren’t suggesting you hound them. Teenagers don’t need the added pressure of worrying what their parents will say so while they may not do great at everything, ask why and make sure it can be improved. Keeping track isn’t so you can berate your teen but rather support and talk to them about what they are struggling with. Drop them in a cup of tea and bring a snack instead of seeming like you are just there to check what they're doing. Show them you are there for them to ask questions. Although you may not be able to help with everything, a problem shared is a problem halved.