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Top Tips For Encouraging Homework

Homework is one of the most common causes for arguments between children and their carers. Whilst this is a strain on families, there is also the wider issue of foster children not performing as well in school as their peers. As foster carers, we have the responsibility to ensure that the children we care for have the best possible opportunities and foundations for success.

Educational monitoring is a key focus of our agency – most recently highlighted in the recently published 2015 Ofsted Report. We encourage children and young people to attend school and to work hard so that they can reach their full potential.

Here are some of our favourite ways to encourage positive studying around homework:

Be Encouraging
First and foremost, you should be optimistic about what your foster child can achieve. If you believe in them and encourage them to fulfil their potential, then you’re giving them a positive view of themselves and their schoolwork.

Star Charts
As well as verbal encouragements, children respond very well to treats. It has been proven that rewards work better than punishments, so something like a star chart in which you can put a sticker every day that your foster child completes their homework, with a reward at the end, can really motivate kids.

Schoolwork Based Activities
Trips are a well-used tool for teachers in getting children enthusiastic about their studies, but the time and costs can’t always be spared. By giving children immersive experiences, such as going to a science museum to relate to their current topic in biology, galleries for art projects, and doing international cooking at home for their languages class, you can capture a child’s imagination whilst having the family days out that are essential for your bond with foster kids.

Routines and Goals
People, in general, respond well to having a routine, and children especially are comforted by knowing what to expect. By setting study time at the same time every day, you’re preparing your foster children’s expectations. For children who have a tendency to daydream rather than working, it may be an idea to set a time goal, but be sure to do this in a positive manner without making them feel pressured. It’s also a good idea to perform your own tasks in this time, such as cooking or laundry, as fun activities that happen whilst a child is studying can be very distracting and discouraging.

If you have any tips or tricks when it comes to homework, please let us know – we’d love to share ideas. In the meantime, celebrate our efforts with us and read the Ofsted Report in greater detail here.

If you’ve been following our 2015 Ofsted posts, you’ll already know that we focus on placing children and young people in healthy environments where their physical, emotional, and social wellbeing is promoted. It is vital that foster children feel part of a family and are provided with a stable, healthy home environment in which they can grow and flourish. One young person in the report is quoted as saying: “I like them, they care about me, I am part of their family”.

With half term almost upon us, there are a host of local activities to keep the kids entertained over the break. We’ve picked a few of our favourites, to encourage you to get children involved, integrated, active and help fill the days they’re home from school.

Pancake Day
Don’t forget that this year pancake day falls in the week of half term! You know the drill, make up some pancake mix, get a load of toppings together, and gather the kids around the table to make their own pancake creations!

MOSI’s Steam, Sweat and Sewers
In an event aimed at kids, the Museum Of Science And Industry is running fun activities about Victorian Manchester. Starting on the 14th of February and ending on the 22nd of March, the daily activities show how Victorian science and invention helped build our modern world.

Hotel Novotel Manchester’s Superheroes Day
Give your kids an exciting day out, with the family Superhero Day where they can dress up, save the world, complete missions from the craft captain, and cook up some tasty treats. The day is free, but booking is essential.

Meet Peppa Pig at The Lowry Outlet Mall
To celebrate the release of her new film, Peppa Pig will be making a series of appearances at The Lowry Outlet Mall, on the 17th, 18th, and 19th of February. There is a hunt for the missing “Splashtastic Wellies”, and craft activities across the three days. Peppa Pig will appear for 40 minutes at 11am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm over the three days.

Worsley Woods Adventure Trail
To get the kids outside exercising in the fresh air, take them to the Adventure Trail in Worsley Woods, running on the 19th of February from 12:30-2:30pm. Clues are set out to lead you and the family on an adventure deep into the woods. Dress in warm clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty! For more information, contact 0161 793 2419.

At Perpetual Fostering, we encourage all of our carers to stay active, involving foster children in family days out, and keeping them active for a happier, healthier lifestyle. To read more of the 2015 Ofsted Report, click here.