Any parent knows how difficult it can be to get kids to do their homework.
Families in IMPACT Family Mental Health Services have found a helping hand in the Homework Club.
The program is run by Sharmaine Gernhoefer, Daryl Hitchcock and Connor Foss and seeks to give a hand up to any child struggling with the demand of homework.
“Children struggle with homework, sometimes even understanding the concepts,” said Sharmaine.
“Sometimes they don’t have a quiet space at home to do it in. Or the parents don’t have the capacity to help them.”
And that’s where the Homework group can help, by offering a judgement-free and positive space to get their work done.
The group is run once a week every Tuesday afternoon from 3.30pm to 5pm.
It’s currently in its fifth week and caters mainly to primary-age kids.
“We keep the attendance fluid,” said Daryl.
“We send out an email and whoever is keen shows up. If five show up or 20 show up, we’re there.”
“It eliminates lots of arguments at home, and the kids are happier at school that they didn’t get into trouble for not doing their homework,” said Sharmaine.
Catering for a wide variety is difficult.
But Sharmaine, Daryl and Connor have help.
One secondary school student comes in and helps with the younger kids.
And at the same time as tutoring them this student is learning the value of helping others and how rewarding it can be.
Daryl is confident she will go on to a greater mentoring role in her life and continue helping others.
“We just want to instil in these kids a love of learning and education in general,” said Daryl.
“Many disadvantaged kids learn to hate school and we want to show them it’s not evil but can be enjoyable.
“We want to show them that success factor; that success breeds success.”
And the children seem to find it less frustrating that they’re doing their homework in a group, rather than toiling away on their own at home.
“The kids like to show us how well they’re doing, so we’re instilling that sense of pride in their work,” said Connor.
That sense of pride can take a child a long way, and thanks to Sharmaine, Daryl and Connor they have a terrific start.