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Homework Advice

Making homework Meaningful

Making homework meaningful

Advice for:


Parents/ Carers


Why is homework a problem?

For students with autism 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 autism 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?

At home

  • 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
  • Supervise

- get him/her started

- check him/her regularly

- motivate with small rewards