The beginning and end of the school day
The start of the school day can be a rush for everyone and there is a lot more organisation required now that your child is in secondary school then there was at primary school. It’s important to establish a routine in the morning and evening as this will help start the day with minimum stress.
Tips for a positive start to the school day:
Encourage your child right from the beginning to pack their schoolbag and lay out their uniform before going to bed each evening.
Try to ensure that your child eats breakfast; this provides them with the required energy to make sure that they perform well at school.
Allow plenty of time for your child to get to school - build extra time into your morning routine so that if there any transport problems they still won’t be late.
Check each evening for letters that have been sent home, permission forms or homework diaries to sign as this will help early morning panic or items being completely forgotten.
Helping with homework
Your child will have to be more independent at secondary school than at primary school but it’s important that you still show an active interest and keep up to date with how he is getting on.
Chat to your child about what they are learning at school, children enjoy sharing new information. Find topics you have a shared interest in so it feels like a causal chat.
Ask your child if he needs any help with a particular aspect of his homework. Help him to organise his workload.
The following is a rough guide as to how long your child should be spending on homework in secondary school:
1st and 2nd Year
45 to 90 minutes a day
60 to 120 minutes a day
5th and 6th Year
150 to 180 minutes a day
Other ways to support your child's learning
You might not be reading to your child as you did when he was in primary school but you can still support good reading habits. Talk to your child about the books that you are both reading, what types of books he enjoys and what books he might like for birthday and Christmas presents. Go to the library together and look online at book reviews for new authors and titles.
Encourage an interest in current affairs, watch the evening news together and encourage an interest in reading a newspaper once or twice a week. News topics can relate to lesson topics and can even help with homework.
If you are planning a day out, why not visit a museum, exhibition or gallery that will tie in with what subjects your child is doing such as art, English, history, science or geography.