Many parents share with us their tale of woes regarding how problematic homework can be in their home. Whether it’s the child who procrastinates, the disorganized work area, or the child who misplaces everything, homework can be a challenge in most households.
Here are some tips for parents to help children stay organized while doing homework.
Establish a Homework Zone
Many younger students like to complete homework while sitting near an adult (usually Mom) so there is someone close by to answer questions they may have regarding the homework. For many students, this spot may be at the kitchen or dining room table. If your child decides on either of these two places, have your child sit with his or her back to the entranceway of the room to avoid being distracted by the “movement” in and out of the room. Any sort of movement in your child’s viewing range will result in a break in concentration.
Setting Up the Homework Zone
Each child should have a portable school supply box that includes loose leaf paper, art supplies, and anything else needed to complete homework. This box should allow ease of access for your child, avoiding boxes with lids that can come off. If you have another child who is using the same homework zone, you might want to think about dividers. Dividers offer a great privacy shield for the kids who squabble with each other.
Some children are sensitive to noise, especially the voices of their siblings. Using headphones with either soft music or white noise can be productive in reducing distractions of others.
As much as I love Facebook, I realize that social media and many gaming sites can be an incredible distraction to older students who may need the internet for homework. Some apps and software parents can install to block social media for a few hours are Anti Social, K-9 Web Protection .
Create a File Box
Eliminate those exploding binders and folders. Buy a portable file box without a top for easy access. Since the box is portable, it can move from room to room with your child. Insert hanging file folders for each subject. Once every few weeks, your child should go through his folders and remove papers that are from past topics or just doesn’t need anymore. DO NOT throw these papers out but store them until midterms and final.
There are many different ways of setting up reminders. If your child is tech savvy, have her use an app on her phone for reminders. Post it calendars are great tools for reminders for the kids who are more tactile and visual. Another great reminder technique for kids who are more visual and tactile, is to write down every task (homework) on a separate post it. Display the post its at eye level to give a clear view to your child what tasks she needs to accomplish that day. When the task is completed, your child should remove the corresponding post it and throw it away.
Helping your child develop positive homework strategies will assure that the school work will be completed. Make sure that your child feels comfortable in his work area and that you remain supportive in maintaining positive homework strategies.