Homework Tips

Homework can be a frustrating and upsetting experience for dyslexic children and their parents on a daily basis. Below are some tips to help make homework a more profitable experience.


How much homework?

The purpose of homework is to practice something that your child is already familiar with. If homework is too difficult, you should discuss this with the child’s teacher. Don’t allow your child to become frustrated because homework tasks are beyond their skills or take too long. Setting smaller amounts of work and/or allowing extra time will often help.

Establishing a Routine.

Develop a daily homework routine. It should also be flexible enough to take into account after-school activities.

Daily reading is essential.

  • Practice is required for students with dyslexia to develop and master literacy skills.
  • Read aloud with your child when they are becoming frustrated. This helps them to understand and enjoy what they are reading.
  • Your child can also read along with books on tape or CD.
  • An adult reading a bedtime story to a child from a book slightly more difficult than the child can read themselves, can help the child learn new vocabulary, generate ideas and be an enjoyable experience for both.

Getting started.

  • Divide homework tasks into manageable chunks. Give breaks between tasks. Encourage your child to produce quality work rather than rushing tasks.
  • Go over homework requirements to ensure your child understands what to do. Read instructions aloud, if necessary, practise the first example or two with them.
  • Help your child to generate ideas for writing tasks and projects before they start work.

Checking and monitoring work.

Help your child to learn to check their own work so they can go over their own work more independently as they get older.

  • Teach your child to use the computer for work as they get older. Show them how to use a spell checker and encourage them to learn touch typing skills on a suggested Typing Tutor program. See BDA Tech for further information.
  • If they are slow to complete work, see how much work they can do in five minutes. If homework is regularly taking too long or is too difficult, you should discuss this with the teacher.
  • Give your child lots of praise as they complete homework tasks.

Organisation .

  • Help them develop a comprehensive, written homework plan include revision of subjects as well as set homework tasks.
  • Encourage your child to keep their school notes and work together in folders so they don’t get lost or damaged. Colour coding of subjects can greatly assist organisation and planning.
  • If students are not writing down their required homework tasks accurately, arrange for them to check with someone in the same class at the end of the day. Or ask teachers to give them written homework instructions.
  • Liaise with teachers regularly to check that students are completing homework tasks and classwork correctly and are handing in work at school.
  • It is helpful to make sure that everything needed for the next school day is packed up the night before and placed by the front door.

Study skills.

  • Make sure that your child has effective plans for approaching tasks like essay writing, coursework, study for examinations. Talk to the school's Special Education Needs Coordinator or subject teachers about these.
  • Build up independent work skills in your child and problem solving strategies when they are “stuck” or not sure of how to go about homework. For example, get your child to think about several different ways they could complete the task correctly. They can also think about who they can ask for help when they have tried other strategies.
  • Encourage them to make notes, such as on coloured cards, underline or highlight key words in colour, draw pictures, etc. when studying to aid their memory.

Using technology.

For information and advice on ITC and assistive technology, please visit the BDA New Technologies Committee by following this link.