Homework Tips: Taking the Work out of Homework
Written By: Mary M. Alward
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Kids hate homework. It seems that almost every night of the week they are overloaded with assignments and projects. Teachers give children homework to ensure all class work is completed and so they are better able to evaluate how much classroom work your child understands. Homework is a part of school and whether your child likes it or not, it is important that you see that it is completed. This reinforces responsibility and an ability to work independently.
Your child should write down all assignments and projects when they are assigned. A note should be made of the due date and what exactly is required.
Encourage your child to ask questions if there are portions of an assignment or project that is not clear.
If your child has a free period, it is a great time for him to work on his homework assignments. If the school doesn't have a designated study hall, he can use the library. Hanging out with his friends may seem more fun than doing his homework but it's best that he gets the homework done so he can have most of the evening free to pursue other interests.
When your child starts working on his homework, he should pace himself according to the amount of homework that is required for that particular night. He should budget his time and buckle down to work If he doesn't have much homework, it is a great time for him to work on assignments and projects that are coming due in the near future.
Do not allow your child to do his homework in front of the TV or in a place where there are a lot of distractions. Assign a homework nook where he can work on his homework and focus on what he is doing.
Don't allow your child to do his homework on his bed or the floor. He should have a desk or table where he can be comfortable while using good posture.
Encourage your child to do his most difficult assignments first. This is when his energy level is the strongest, which makes it easy to focus on challenging assignments. Subjects he enjoys and easier tasks can be completed more quickly when his energy level is low.
Children shouldn't spend excessive time on one problem. He should try his best and if he still has problems, he should move on. When his homework is complete, he can come back to the problem and try again. If he is still having trouble, lend him a hand if you can. He may also ask an older sibling or classmate for help.
If your child has a lot of homework, his attention span will dwindle after about an hour. At this time he should take a ten-minute break, relax, get a drink and then return to the task.
When all of your child's homework is complete, have him check it carefully. Once he's satisfied that he's put forth his best effort, his homework should be placed in his backpack and the backpack should be placed near the door where it will be handy when he's leaving for school the next morning. This ensures his homework assignments are safe from sibling and pets and that they aren't forgotten in the morning rush.
There are times when an academic subject will seem overwhelming to your child. When this happens, encourage him to ask his teacher, a guidance counselor or a fellow student for help. There's no reason for him to feel embarrassed or to feel centered-out. Everyone needs help at one time or another and helping him understand this will make a big difference to the way he looks at a challenging subject. Assure him that is he doesn't get the help that he needs at school that you are there to support him and will do everything in your power to get him the help that he needs.
If all else fails, hire a tutor for your child, if possible. There are a good number of tutoring centers in the country and some tutors are willing to come to your home. Tutors work one-on-one and take the time to answer all of your child's questions. A tutor can help your child see an overwhelming subject from a different point of view. Tutors work at your child's pace and in no time at all, you will see a vast improvement in your child's grades.
Remember that there are subjects in which your child will excel and others that will be a real challenge. Encourage your child to put forth his best effort and give him love and support in his efforts. Don't be critical and demanding. Don't yell or shout. All of these things will cause your child's experience to be negative and what he needs is a positive experience. Be sure he completes all of his assignments to the best of his ability. It will all come, but it takes time. The main thing is to make your child's homework less work and enable him to be successful in his efforts.