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Making homework Meaningful
Making homework meaningful
Why is homework a problem?
For students with ASD homework can be a problem because:
- They lack the organisational skills needed to complete homework
- They find it hard to link class work to homework
- They don't see why they have to do schoolwork at home
- They are exhausted at the end of a school day
- They just don't see the point of homework
- They are not motivated to please teacher or parent
It is a real challenge for schools to make homework a meaningful activity for students with ASD so that the student is empowered to become an independent learner.
How can school help?
Be flexible - what is homework for? Is homework a priority in your provision for this student? If it is:
- Have a clear homework policy for all students with SEN
- agree this with students and parents/ carers
- make it part of the IEP
- Negotiate an amount of time to be spent on homework– don't insist on completed tasks
- Provide opportunities for students to begin or complete homework clubs, study buddy scheme
- Draw clear links between homework and classwork
- Begin with short homework tasks
- Reclassify homework as independent study and consider
- alternatives to written homework tasks
- alternative methods of submitting or recording homework eg ICT, CD’s, homework diaries etc.
- Ensure homework instructions clear
- Check instructions are properly recorded– consider using sticky labels with homework printed on them, text or email
- Don't set open ended tasks
- Where possible build homework tasks around student’s interests
- Motivate student’s by ensuring homework is checked and praise/ rewards are given quickly
Advice for students
- Talk to your parents
- Tell them how you feel and ask them to help
- Ask for help to make sure homework doesn't take up too much of your leisure time
- Work for a set time then take a break, relax with a favourite activity
- Drink plenty of water while you are working
- Get some help to organise your work, workspace and equipment
- If your school has a homework club or study buddy scheme– join– there will be people there to help you
How can parents/ carers help?
- Communicate regularly with school so that difficulties can be dealt with quickly
- Explore homework facilities provided by school - is there a homework club or study buddy scheme?
- can homework instructions be sent to you by email or text?
- can homework be completed at lunchtime if appropriate?
- Give your child time to unwind before starting homework
- If appropriate have an incentive and/or reward system in place with tangible, fast payback.
- Provide clear workspace, quiet, uncluttered and well equipped.
- Have a timetable that tells your child how long to work (20 mins is long enough) and when they can have a break (usually 10 mins)
- Use a timer if it helps to keep your child on task
- Encourage your child to use a homework diary– this is useful for home-school links.
- Colour code exercise books – a coloured sticker on the spine will do
- Encourage good habits and routine Pack school bag each night
- Help your child to plan, prioritise and organise
- get him/her started
- check him/her regularly
- motivate with small rewards