The following five tips are offered by two education experts, Jennifer O’Donnell and Laureen Miles Brunelli.
1. Create a Space. An area that is routinely used for homework will aide in helping your student settle down and concentrate on the matter at hand. Depending on your child, this area might need to be a quiet space. Some people, however, do their best focusing when there is some background sound, so keep in mind that your child might need the radio on.
2. How Much to Help? One of the skills homework teaches is how to tackle unpleasant tasks, says Brunelli . Your job is to support, but not do. Have your child discuss what the assignment is, and perhaps give you an idea of how much time it will take to finish. If procrastination is an issue, set a time frame for starting, and discuss consequences for not starting within that allotted time.
3. Establish a Homework “Base.” Nip the “I left my homework at home” scenario in the bud. Have your student help you in deciding where the homework will go as soon as it is completed. A common solution is to place the finished homework directly into your child’s backpack, which is then placed right by the door.
4. Hire Homework Help. If your schedule or responsibilities for the rest of the family prevent you from having the time necessary to oversee homework time, consider hiring the help you need. This could be anyone from a professional tutor to a responsible teen. This could also be a solution if you and your student butt heads during the homework period. Sometimes a child learns better from someone other than the parent, points out O’Donnell.
5. Stock a Supply Box. Keeping supplies handy will prevent loss of time, and also circumvent the all-too-easy distractions that can lead to procrastination. The supply box can contain such items as pens, colored markers, an extra calculator, paper, glue, tape and scissors.
Speaking of pens – make sure your student is armed with the correct kinds of writing implements. An ergonomic pen is the best pen to help make all of those assignments that must be handwritten, and the volumes of note-taking done in such a way as to keep the hand relaxed. This goes a long way toward preventing stress injury of the fingers and hand.
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