3 Back-to-School Homework Tips
09/04/2013 10:47AM, Published by Nancy Babin, Categories:
The ritual of back to school time is here once again. Some parents can’t wait to get their kids out the door, while others don’t want those lazy summer days to end. Regardless of how parents feel about a transition to a new school year, they all have one thing in common a universal desire to see their children succeed. The start of the school year is make it or break it time. If a student falls behind early in the year, it can be extremely difficult for him to catch up. Setting up a system for completing assignments is critical. Read on to find out how you can make this school year the best ever.
Establish a Start Time
much of success in school depends on how well kids perform after the
school bell rings. That’s
right: homework. If you’re
the parent of a child with the “I’ll
do it later”
syndrome, setting a time in which homework starts is key. There are
essentially five times to start homework:
right after school
after a 30 minute break
right before bedtime
latter two options are not nearly as productive as the first three,
but determining when your child should start homework depends on age.
students often need down time after school or when they return from
their extra-curricular activities; about 30 minutes is usually
sufficient. This is when homework should start. Although each day
might be different due to sports, lessons and other activities, the
routine of starting 30 minutes after returning should not change.
much harder to dictate an exact starting time to an adolescent. For
older students, consider having the family policy that homework
before dinner. This step in itself will greatly reduce late night stress when homework still isn’t complete.
Allow a Variety of Homework Spaces
away the old idea that homework needs to be done in the same place
each day. New research finds that it’s
far more productive to vary the location. One day homework might be
done in the dining room, another day the home office area, etc. Keep
in mind that regardless of where homework is completed, some kids
function better when they can lie on the floor, sit on the sofa, or
even pace the room while studying for a test.
addition, the traditional notion that people need complete silence
and a sterile environment in order to concentrate has recently come
under fire. Various studies have shown that distractible students can
actually attend better when they are given something to hold or
touch. If you find that your child tends to fidget by touching
objects around her, tapping her feet, or rocking in her chair, it’s
likely that she’s
craving sensory input. Many children need this type of stimulation,
especially when tasks are tedious or boring. Consider allowing your
child to hold a stress ball or another fidget toy such as the Tangle
Create a Clean Sweep
is a major component of school success. In the beginning of the year
nearly every student starts off being organized, but has a hard time
maintaining this initial effort. You can help your child by
establishing a 20 minute pre-arranged weekly maintenance session
called the “Clean
During this time, your child will be responsible for organizing
anything related to school, which includes cleaning out binders,
folders, and backpack. Program this time into your smart phone and
have your children do the same if they own a cell phone. Many
families find that Sunday evening is an ideal time to prepare for the
About the Author: Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed., is the founder and president of Educational Connections, Inc. In her award-winning book, Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, Dolin offers proven solutions to help the six key types of students who struggle with homework.
Subscribe to On the Coast Magazine's Free Newsletter for regular updates!