top of page

The joys of homework... Part 1...

Photo credit: Rachel on Unsplash

A couple of weeks ago I discussed why it was important to 'grow' a creative child and briefly gave an overview of what to do, but this week I want to delve a bit deeper and look at ways you as a parent can support creative learning when faced with homework that can be anything but.


Homework, especially at primary ages, is always a tricky concept for both teachers and parents. It is something that is often expected by parents; it can help children to review what they have been doing in class; it gets them into a routine, ready for secondary education, where their learning definitely extends into home life. Unfortunately, because of these reasons, the homework (which of course adds to the already big load that a teacher has) is very often in my experience, a worksheet or written piece that can be done in a reasonable amount of time, with little, if no support. As teachers, we don't want to overload parents or children and make homework a struggle to complete, either because of time or dislike!

But does this homework make a difference in class? Does it inspire and excite a child to know more and run into class the next week expecting to find out more... err... generally NO.

Is homework easy to do with your child? Again, in my experience with parents I'd say many struggle to get it done for one reason or another. In my own parental experience, I know that being creative myself usually helped, but homework wasn't a fun time.

So this week, let's look at some ideas to get you started on a creative learning journey and make learning more fun when spelling (as these do come home every week and are important:

  • Firstly, you are building a word using sounds most of the time. Make sure you are happy saying the pure sounds (google "saying pure sounds"). It makes it so much easier to blend if you say them correctly. The bonus is that if your child knows their sounds well, spelling with sounds should be good too! You can also use syllables to break words down for them. Split it up verbally and physically with the syllables on separate cards*

  • Use cereal packets* to make word cards together. Talk about how to colour code them for spellings and discuss why (so all the 'ch' sounds are red, but the 'sh' sounds are blue, for example). Use these cards as flashcards or make a double set to play snap! Remember kids love to use things they have made much more than the ones you buy for them. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to discuss recycling and other issues which will extend their thinking for future learning ;-)

  • Don't discard previously learnt spellings, keep the cards and make other games together, such as bingo boards for them. It is good to review spellings over and over. Often, children learn them for the test and then don't apply them. By playing games with the words again and again, they are committing them to memory more easily.