Tips for Busy Parents

posted in: Ideas for Parents | 0

For any intervention program to be effective, you need to be consistently practising concepts being learned. It’s like learning a musical instrument. If you drop your child off at guitar lessons once a week and the child does not pick up the guitar until the following week, it is very unlikely your child will become a proficient guitar player.

However, as a busy parent, finding the time to support your child can be challenging. Doing intervention is NOT like doing normal homework. Your child should NOT be doing the activities independently. After all, if your child can do the work without assistance, then they already have this knowledge and no further learning is occurring.

Here are a few suggestions to help find time in your busy schedule to effectively support your child:

Involve your child

  • Together agree on a set time each day when the homework will be completed.
  • This may require some negotiation so that it fits within your child’s extra-curricular activities and your own schedule.
  • As much as possible, try to establish a routine so that the homework is completed at the same time each day. A routine makes it easier to establish a pattern and to actually do the work.
  • If your child is an early riser, completing at least some of the activities before school can be particularly beneficial while your child is fresh. Conversely, try not to complete activities late at night when your child is tired.
  • Encourage your child to take ownership of their studies and to be prepared physically and mentally to engage in the homework activities.

Plan ahead

  • Set aside some time at the beginning of each week to plan out your schedule and prioritise other tasks around your commitment to help you child.
  • Plan activities for your child to do after the homework has been completed such as screen time, playing outside, etc.
  • Have a signal or an event which indicates the homework time is about to commence. It could be after a snack, as soon as you arrive home from work, etc.
  • Keep all required material (books, spare pencils, rubbers) in one location so they can be easily located.


  • Identify the activities that the child can do with less supervision and schedule to do those activities while you are preparing a meal, ironing, etc.
  • Activities requiring the child to use technology can often be completed at this time.
  • Take advantage of commute time. Often many revision activities can be completed orally as you are driving/walking your child to or from school or other activities.

Delegate and use technology

  • Share some of the tasks with a partner, carer, grandparent or perhaps a competent neighbourhood teenager.
  • If you work late, you might be able to spend 20 minutes during the afternoon working through some of the material using an internet conferencing app such as Zoom or Teams.

Remember, it’s important to be flexible and adaptable. If a particular approach is not working, step back, reassess and don’t be afraid to make adjustments. This might include discussing with the teacher any issues you are having so modifications can be made to the program or for brainstorming ideas for motivating your child.