5 Tips on How to Survive Your Child’s Homework

Are you having problems with your child skipping, forgetting or avoiding doing their homework? Frustrated with the constant calls from their class teacher for the umpteenth time, reminding you to keep a more watchful eye on your kid’s homework? Why can’t they do it themselves?Between managing a household or a business, a job or three other kids, where would a parent be able to FIND THE TIME to help with their child’s homework? I mean don’t they have teachers for that in school or in tuition or daycare? What MORE do they want?!

Whoa whoa whoa. Take a deep breath. Don’t worry, you’re doing fine. Things may feel overwhelming right now but by the end of this post, perhaps you may get a better sense of what to do and how to help your child and your sanity.

More Reading: Ever had your kid cheat on a test? Here’s how you can react to this news like a cool parent.

First up, we need to make some adjustments towards the way we view homework in general.

Homework Is a Necessary Evil, GRRR

Homework can make or break a child’s attitude towards education. Give a child too little and he can’t follow the lesson the teacher is trying to teach; give a child too much and she won’t be keen to look at another book (even if it is for leisure) once she has completed all her homework. That would be a crying shame.

Not only that, once your kid starts hating homework, they’ll develop a fear or hatred for school as well, and then your morning’s shot. You don’t want to wait until they get there before you step in. Because that mess follows your kid and you throughout their school life.

So Rule #1 is to never give kids a reason to hate homework.

That said, there is another more important thing you need to keep at the back of your head at all times: your child’s view of homework is a reflection of your view of homework.

#wut?

Ok, bear with me. How many times have you talked about how much homework (tonnes!) your child has, to another adult? How many times have you talked about it in front of your child (you won’t believe the amount of spelling and writing he has come home with today, and it’s only Monday)?

When you do that, you’re imprinting upon them the impression that there is a truckload of paperwork that they will have to go through = they have less time for fun and play, ergo homework = bad.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

If you, as a parent, attach a frustrated feeling towards “homework” (oh no, not more writing work!) viewing it as a burden (but we did 5 pages already yesterday, why are they giving you 5 more?) rather than a responsibility or something that is beneficial to yourself and therefore your child, then your child will adopt the same feeling towards homework (oh no, mom is not going to like it that I have more Math worksheets to do tonight).

And right there is where you would have lost half the battle. So let’s fix that.

Homework Is Good Training, Young Grasshopper

It helps to instil the view of homework as a responsibility given by a teacher to a student. Everyone has responsibilities; it is part of growing up.

The thing with giving responsibilities to kids as young as 7 years old (Primary 1) is that we have to go through it in stages. Or at least we should. The problem is schools these days just dive right in and will send your kid home with 3 to 5 pages of homework for each subject. That’s why kindergartens are doing the same. #GottaStartThemEarly

freepik.com

(Which is also why you should start doing whatever you are picking up from this post with your kid as soon as they start preschool or start bringing home homework. It makes things easier as they grow older. Just don’t be too strict about it because remember Rule #1.)

As a parent, rather than adopt a sluggish view about homework (urgh, are they prepping you for a PhD with all these workbooks?), think about it as a training session that helps them improve in school.

To help kids manage, split up the work to bite-sized pieces, and mix some of the heavy-duty work (writing or colouring) with the lighter workloads (filling in the blanks, matching, multiple-choice questions).

You could also break things up in between with a snack session or a quick break with their favourite toys.

Be careful to set a tangible deadline for them or else playtime will extend all the way until bedtime. No matter what, you must finish your homework, because it is a responsibility assigned to you. Drill this into their head. Help them organise their workload but let them own their homework.

Fully Utilise Homework If yOU Are Doing It ANyways!

For all the time and effort you put into homework, you best make full use of homework. It’s also important for your kids to understand what they are learning. Don’t do homework just for the sake of finishing it.

Homework is a great tool for seeing how well your child is progressing in school, or otherwise. You don’t need to look at your child’s report card to know how they are faring if you follow their homework at least during the first three years of primary school (or until they are 10 years old).

The idea is to make sure they are learning what they are supposed to learn. The point is that they learn something new every time they are doing homework. Plus, doing it bit by bit takes away the stress from learning. And it’s best to get your child to learn how to ask questions.

freepik.com

I learned probably a little too late that kids don’t know what it is that they don’t know. Sometimes you take for granted that they understand what you are talking about and that they are absorbing what you are teaching.

That’s almost never the case.

And you would not know unless they ask you questions. So encourage them to ask. Make communication two ways as often as possible.

Doing Homework Is A Habit Worth Nurturing

When doing homework, make sure finishing it becomes a habit. For example, getting homework done before play, or getting it done before going to bed. Be consistent when executing this and it will become your child’s habit, one they can do independently once they are older. #dobbyisfree

Another trick to surviving homework is to be organised. The sooner you can plow through homework, the sooner you can get back to your toys. So help them get started asap.

While they are in class, when a new homework is assigned, get them to separate the homework into a special homework file (one you will need to prepare) or into a special section in their schoolbag (like an inner pocket).

Alternatively, the kids can jot the pages down in a notebook, and earmark the page to make it easier to find. This beats having to rummage through every workbook in hopes of finding, and not missing, any assigned homework.

Mitigating Reluctance

Look, we have days when we are just too tired or down to be bothered with anything. Kids have days like these too. They may have had a row with a friend, or a teacher may have given them a tongue lashing over something that isn’t their fault in the first place.

Whatever the reason is, kids have bad days too. Parents will do well to pay heed to these moments as well as help these kids address their emotions in those situations. #anotherarticle #anotherday

If however your child has started throwing tantrums, that’s a sure sign of fatigue, which requires a power nap, or skipping swimming/football practice. When tantrums happen, homework can wait. In fact, I let my daughter skip her homework if she is too tired to follow through, ever since I found her passed out on the dinner table sprawled across a pile of her half-done homework.

We need to teach kids to put their health above getting things done. It’s something many adults our age don’t know they can do.

freepik.com

You want your child to grow up and be independent as soon as possible, but it is not something that happens overnight. Be fair to them, guide them by showing them the steps but make sure they take the steps themselves, with your support on the side, of course.

School results are not the only important thing in life, but it is a good indication of their personal progress, which helps you figure out how much help they may need from you. Use grades as goals instead of your child’s reason for being, and we all are going to be alright.

Got Straight A’s? Claim Your Excellence Rewards From These Banks

Congratulations to all SPM students for your results. You are all superstars in my book. But on another note, if you are one of the few who worked your butts off for SPM and got straight A’s to show for it, you have got to claim your academic excellence rewards from your favourite banks.

Banks offer rewards in varying degrees to good exam results in UPSR, PT3, SPM, STPM and even university degrees. These range from as low as RM50 to as high as RM500.

Credit: jcomp

There are two things to observe though: how you can be eligible and how to apply for the rewards (yes, it’s not automatically given to you, you have to apply and within the deadline given). I’ve gone through the terms and conditions for the relevant bank rewards for academic excellence offered by the following banks.

Maybank

Maybank offers academic cash rewards for straight A students for PT3, SPM, STPM/A-levels and even university degrees, ranging from RM100 for PT3 up to RM500 for bachelor’s degree.

You will need excellent grades of course, as shown in the image below: PT3 (7A), SPM (8A, 8A+), STPM (4A, 5A, Muet Band 6) and if you graduate with 1st class honours in your degree from a recognised university.

So far, Maybank is the only bank that offers rewards to straight A students at pre-university and university level but it offers no rewards for UPSR.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this, you will need to maintain RM1000 in your Yippie Savings or imteen account for the year you are taking the examination, right up to the date of submission for the reward.

Based on the form, you can also apply for this reward if you have a Maybank Premier 1 account, a Premier Mudharabah account or have an FD Premier account (bring the receipt as proof).

If you have only opened a new bank account, you must open the account before the 1st day of exams and maintain it at or above RM1000. (Seems a little unfair for current users, but rules are rules, I guess.)

To claim the RM500 for 1st Class Honours, the account must be opened before you turn 18, so essentially before you have even gone to university. You have to maintain at least RM1000 (the golden rule so far) in the account.

How to Apply

Just fill in this form and bring your result slip or degree certificate, as well as your IC, your child’s IC and passbook to apply over the counter. You need to do this at your home branch within 1 month of the official results announcement. Only one claim can be done per accountholder, no matter how many accounts you have with Maybank.

For more info, click on this link which takes you to the Maybank website. If you have any questions, please call Maybank.

Public Bank

Public Bank has a Star Achiever Programme that rewards UPSR, PT3 and SPM excellence. For UPSR students, you will need 5 A’s, PT3 students will need 7 A’s and SPM students will need 8 A’s.

The rewards are for RM50 for UPSR, RM100 for PT3 and RM200 for SPM. It is limited to only 200 recipients per year. Successful applicants will be announced on the website.

The reward will then be credited into the PB Bright Star Savings account so that’s the account you need to be eligible for this.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for this, you will need to maintain a minimum daily average balance of RM500 in your PB Bright Star Savings account for the year you are taking the examination (the programme period for this programme is defined as January to December).

The account must also remain active until the cash reward has been distributed.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, you can fill in the online form and submit, or you can do it in person at the account holding branch. Bring along your original examination result slip AND a photocopy which the bank will want to keep.

Successful applications will receive a serial number. (It doesn’t specify what the serial number will be used for in the TnC.)

The submission dates for this is 31 January the following year for UPSR and PT3 students, and 30 April for the current year for SPM students.

For more info, click on the following links which takes you to the Public Bank Terms and Conditions page in English, and this one in BM.

Alliance Bank

Alliance Bank has a Straight A’s Achievement Award which recognises achievements in UPSR, PT3 and SPM. The awards are RM100 for straight A’s in UPSR, RM200 for straight A’s in PT3 and RM300 for straight A’s (A+, A- counts as A) in SPM.

Eligibility

A balance of RM500 must be maintained in your Alliance Buddy Account for 6 consecutive months before the official date for the announcement of results.

How to Apply

You need to submit a certified true copy of the examination result slip within 14 days of the release of results. The reward money will be credited straight into the account.

For more info, check out this link that takes you to the Alliance Bank Deposits TnC document.

OCBC Bank

OCBC also offers rewards to students who obtain 5 A’s and above for UPSR (RM50), 7 A’s and above for PT3 (RM100) and 8A’s and above for SPM (RM150).

A finance information website not affiliated with the bank mentions a RM200 reward for 4 A’s and above in STPM but as this was not mentioned in OCBC’s official page, you will need to enquire with the bank if this is legitimate. #doesnthurttoask

Eligibility & How to Apply

Your Young Savers Account must be opened more than 1 year before the announcement of the exam results (note that you need a minimum initial deposit for RM500 to open this Young Savers account). The results must be submitted within 2 weeks from the official announcement date.

For more info, check out this link which takes you to the OCBC bank page for Young Savers account or this link which takes you to an Product Information Sheet.

Hong Leong Islamic Bank

Now this one, you wouldn’t be able to find on their website (frankly that place needs a revamp) but me, I prefer to look up their TnC documents. Here’s the link to the Hong Leong Islamic Bank TnC. You can go through it or check out my summary below.

This one is a special promotion that applies for the period of July 1 2018 until June 30 3019. They reward straight A’s as such: RM100 for UPSR, RM250 for PT3 and RM350 for SPM.

The monetary reward from this bank is higher than most so if you are eligible (check to see if you are below), do give it a go. A maximum total of RM60,000 will be dispensed during this campaign period.

It’s first come, first served but the TnC does not mention if there is a cap for the number of rewards per type of examination.

Eligibility

For this one, you need to main an average minimum balance of RM1000 in your Junior Savings Account-i at least one month prior to the date of application. If you have the conventional savings account (without the i at the back), you’re not eligible. #itpaystopayattention

How to Apply

You need to send in your application for the reward within 14 days from the official announcement date. You can receive only one reward per public examination type.

Go to a branch (it doesn’t mention if it needs to be your account holding branch) with a certified true copy of the examination result slip (certified by a school official), together with your IC, JSA-i passbook and you will need to fill in an application form. It doesn’t say how the money will be rewarded to you. Do enquire at the bank.

If you need the link to the TnC again, here it is.

Just For Fun

Based on what is shared above, if a student got straight A’s for SPM, and they were eligible for all the above rewards, they would have got RM1050 extra spending money for all their effort.

For PT3 students, they would get around RM750, and for UPSR, they would have received RM300 (which is a lot of money for a 12 year old)!

If you or your child were not eligible for some of them, at least now you know what you need to do for the next public examination. Better yet, SHARE this post with someone you know who is taking a public examination next year. Good luck with your submission!