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Daughter Never Understands Homework: What Can I Do?

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 5 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Daughter Never Understands Homework: What Can I Do?


I have a problem with my 9 yr old daughter. Homework time is such stress as she never understands what she has to do. I usually explain the instructions and complete examples with her then leave her to do the actual homework, but she goes blank.

I have talked to her teachers about it but they seem to think she is ok, but clearly she is not learning what is being taught at school...What do I do?

(R.M, 2 June 2009)


Thanks for your question. Your concern for your daughter regarding her homework issues is understandable. There may be a number of factors at stake and various ways in which you could help.

Helping and supporting your daughter whilst she tackles her homework is definitely a good thing and the less stressful you can make it, the better.

It’s good that you’ve already spoken to her teachers, but disappointing for you that they don’t seem to have offered much help. As you’re still concerned, it may be useful to speak to them again. Ask, for example, where your daughter sits in class in relation to the board, whether she’s sitting near anyone who could be distracting her and ask the teacher to ensure your daughter properly writes down details of the homework. They may have a teaching assistant who could offer a bit of support and ensure that your daughter is making proper notes about what she has to do.

Could it be that you’re leaving it too late in the evening to do the homework? Maybe you could try getting your daughter to do it when she first comes home from school, so there’s less of a chance that she’ll have forgotten what she should be doing.

Is there any possibility there could be problems with your daughters eyesight or hearing? It may sound unlikely, but often short-sightedness of problems hearing only come to light through instances like this. If she’s having difficulties seeing or hearing what’s going on, it could explain her lack of understanding when it comes to doing homework.

Could there be an issue with confidence involved? Or perhaps your daughter may need a bit of extra help with getting to grips with homework? Some parents find it’s useful to have a few lessons with a private tutor, where they can focus on the topics learnt at school and give help and advice about doing homework. Working on a one-to-one basis like this can really boost a child’s learning and give them more confidence in themselves and their abilities. The school may be able to advise on local tutors, if you’re interested in exploring this further.

Above all, it’s good that you’re concerned and useful to try and tackle the issue at this stage, and before your child moves on to senior school, as homework becomes much more crucial then. Good luck with exploring the possibilities and I hope you find a good solution.

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