The older students become, the more demanding homework gets. Some educational experts estimate that by junior and senior years in high school as well into college, each hour in the classroom requires three hours of outside work. Here are some tips to make homework less of a drag:
1. Let Kids Unwind After School
To varying degrees, kids need to unwind after school. They may need 30 minutes, or an hour and a half. Following rules all day necessitates a release period. For six hours (or more) they've monitored their behavior and impulses. Instead of demanding that accountability directly after school, set up a homework system that allows them to blow off steam first. For introverts this means some quiet, self-directed activity. For extroverts, this means engaging with others or physical activity.
2. Dedicate A Space
While the dining room table acts as a default space in many homes, it can be filled with distractions. If space is available in your home, set up a homework corner with a simple desk, chair, and necessary supplies such as extra pencils, paper, and motivation. The space should be devoid of distractions including electronic devices, and even perhaps windows. Involve your student in this choice to promote ownership; allow them to decorate the space to make it feel inviting.
Related: 5 Things Teachers Want Parents to Know
3. Establish a Routine
At the beginning of homework time, ask students to review each class and write down what they need to do immediately, and what they may need to do later. This routine becomes helpful as students encounter more difficult classes; students will automatically begin to plan for longer-term projects and papers as they enter middle and high school. Discuss what to do if frustration occurs, and how you child can ask you for help. Check off assignments and perhaps allow breaks in-between their completion. Finally, ensure that everything ends up returned in the backpack, and the backpack is placed in its appropriate place for the morning.
4. Be Consistent
Set aside the same time daily for homework. Obviously, the time may change depending on after-school activities. Consider organizing a visual calendar for weekday and weekend homework times. It's always a good idea to schedule time on Sunday to review and prep for the coming Monday. Provide notice of homework time approaching so kids, especially younger students, can prepare for the activity shift.
5. Provide Support
Knowing what type of learner(s) you have can dramatically impact the ease of homework time. For auditory learners, reading directions aloud can help eliminate frustration; visual learners need to see and annotate directions to process them. Kinesthetic learners need to interact with the directions - for example, counting to five on their fingers if they need to brainstorm five reasons recycling benefits the community. Additionally, motivation is key! Make breaks fun with snacks, dance, or jokes. Jokes are a go-to stress reliever that many kids love: the sillier the better.
Related: Slowing Down the Homework Train
6. Learner Affirmations
Positive affirmations can really change the way the brain perceives homework. Just reading and speaking the affirmations every day can help students shift their attitudes toward homework. Check out these great learning affirmations:
· I am an insightful reader
· I ask good questions
· I am a confident writer
· I enjoy learning new words
· I am intelligent
· I am creative
· I believe in myself
· I will make mistakes and that's okay
· Learning takes courage and I am courageous
· I reach for the stars
· Learning helps my dreams come true
· Every problem has an answer
· I learn when I make mistakes
· I solve problems
· Problems provide a challenge to overcome
· I enjoy making discoveries
Some homework days will be easier than others; however consistent routines and messages regarding homework can make the difficult days easier to manage. Do you have any great tips for managing homework? Please share them in the comments below!