Homework: that dreaded word strikes fear in the hearts of most students and sometimes parents too. Though there may be frustration and even fights with getting your children to do their homework, a routine can be infinitely helpful in getting the necessary work done. Employ these Ten Tips for Good Homework Habits so that your students are successful in school and beyond.
1. Establish a homework time
Some students will benefit from getting assignments completed right away, and others may have other obligations. Consider after school clubs and activities, what time you get home from work, and if your child could benefit from a little down time. It’s fine to employ a schedule like the following but appropriate for your child’s age:
- 3:30 pm School gets out
- 3:30pm — 4: 30 pm After school practices, clubs, commutes, etc.
- 4:30 pm — 5:30 pm Downtime to play, watch TV, have a snack, etc.
- 5:30 pm — 6:30 pm Homework Time
- 6:30 pm — 7:30 pm Dinner
- 7:30 pm — 8:30 pm Family Time and Additional Homework Time if needed
- 8:30 pm — 9:00 pm Prep for Bedtime
- 9:00 pm Bedtime
2. Set timed periods and breaks
As you establish a routine, adjustments may be needed as your children grow and their homework demands change. Maybe 20 minute time chunks are more manageable for your student. Frequent brain breaks using Brain Gym movements can help your child to not feel overwhelmed by the workload. Adjust your routines to help your children build good homework habits.
3. Establish a homework spot
Whether in the child’s room or at the kitchen table, a homework spot should have adequate lighting, enough space to work, and everything your child needs. If your child likes to work alone, provide a quiet space in his room. If your child likes to be a part of the action, set him up at the kitchen table. Just be sure to eliminate distractions like a loud TV, phone calls, etc. Stay nearby as you unwind and prepare dinner in case your child needs any assistance.
4. Provide only the necessities
Make sure your children have all the needed paperwork, pencils, drawing supplies, etc. Remove any unnecessary electronics and toys from the homework area. An organization unit will keep everything in its place. Also, if using a mobile cart of supplies, your children will know it’s time to work when the cart is brought out.
5. Utilize technology when needed
The use of computers and tablets are invaluable when trying to do research for projects. Teach your children good homework habits and how they can benefit from technology. Just be sure to monitor what they’re viewing; you want to make sure it is being used for homework and not playing Angry Birds or other games.
6. Create your own board with calendar
If space allows, hang a whiteboard in your child’s homework space. Include a calendar so that everyone is aware of upcoming deadlines. The board can be used for working through problems with your child. Namely, the use of these boards will help create a school-like atmosphere and encourage serious work.
7. Structure the order of subjects
Children will always have strengths and areas for growth. With a child who loves reading but struggles with math, get the math homework out of the way first and end with his strengths. Likewise, if your child may need help understanding history, plan that lesson for after dinner when you can assist him. Don’t forget to do the targeted Brain Gym movements WITH your child as a transition activity when changing subjects. For example: calf pump before math, brain, earth and space buttons before reading.
8. Teach your child to take responsibility
You are a great motivator for your child to build good homework habits. Make sure to check in on him as he works and check his homework. If your child is not putting much effort into his studies, hold him accountable and encourage him to complete his work. If your student is struggling with lessons, encourage him to speak up in class or you may need to conference with the teacher too. Teach your child to take responsibility for his learning.
10. Be prepared for anything
Even the best students will forget things from time to time. Your child may pull an assignment sheet out of his backpack that’s due tomorrow. Save shoeboxes for last-minute dioramas, posters for presentation boards, etc. Teach your children that good preparation can help even when things don’t go as planned.
11. Bonus Tip: Give Praise
Utilize your boards to post your child’s accomplishments. Love on them when they reach their milestones. Love on them when they are struggling but are still trying. Teach them that when they work hard and build good homework habits, their lives will benefit from their hard work and organization. Help your children learn successful habits even when homework isn’t their favorite activity.
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