1. Create a homework station.
It doesn’t matter whether there’s a space in your house set aside for homework or a portable homework station. Having a place to keep everything your kid needs for homework can help prevent organization issues and homework battles.
Help your child stock the homework station with paper, sharpened pencils and other supplies needed daily. When your child sits down to work, make sure they have enough light and few distractions. And when done, have them do a quick check to see if anything needs to be replaced for tomorrow.
2. Use checklists.
There’s something very rewarding about being able to cross a task off a checklist. You can help your child learn how good that feels as well as teach them how to keep track of homework. All he or she needs is a small pad of paper on which they can list their assignments for the day. As your child completes each one, they can cross it off the list.
3. Create a homework schedule.
A homework schedule can help your child set a specific time for studying (and schedule in breaks between subjects). Help your kid find a time of day when they are able to concentrate, when you’re available to help and when they are not in a hurry to get somewhere else.
A homework schedule can also help your child keep track of long-term assignments and upcoming tests. Use a large wall calendar to write down due dates and tests. Then your child can work backward to add in study days before tests and break projects down into smaller chunks.
4. Choose and use a homework timer.
Homework timers are a great way to help keep an easily distracted child on track. A timer can also give your kid a better sense of time.
There are many types of timers to choose from—what’s best depends on your child. If he or she is distracted by sounds, a ticking kitchen timer may not be the ideal choice. Instead, try an hourglass timer or one that vibrates.
There are also homework timer apps that you can program for each subject. And don’t forget that your phone probably has a timer built right in, too!
5. Use a color-coding system.
Using colored dot stickers, highlighters, and colored folders and notebooks is a great (and inexpensive) way to keep organized. Ask your child to choose a color for each subject. Have him or her mark assignment due dates and test dates on the calendar with a sticker of the right color.
Before you file homework assignments and study guides in the appropriate notebook or folder, use a highlighter or sticker to mark the page with the right color. That way if the paper falls out, your child will know what class it’s for.
6. Mix it up a little.
For some kids, studying is tough because they need to learn material in different ways. If your child is having a hard time with a writing assignment, help him or her talk it through or act it out first. Use vocabulary words in everyday conversation—even if you have to be silly about it.
For math, use household items to help them figure out problems. Teach fractions with slices of pizza, for example. And help your child learn spelling words by letting your child text them to you. You can even help master new facts by setting them to music!
7. Check in and check up.
You can’t do your child’s homework for them, but you can make sure they are doing it. Checking in to see if your child needs help or just to let them know you’re around may ease their homework stress. And don’t forget to look over their work at the end of the day, too!
Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you. http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/