Don’t let homework get swept under the rug! Have an organized school year, and try implementing these four household habits for more successful studying and better homework time.
1. Keep the desk tidy
Have you ever come home from work with great aspirations, only to feel derailed by a cluttered home? Much like a sink full of dirty dishes may keep you from making that complicated recipe, a desk full of clutter might negatively affect your student’s desire to complete homework. If your student uses a public space (like the kitchen table) have the family work on keeping it clear. If he or she has a personal desk, make it known that basic room cleaning is expected.
2. Serve dinner at a set time
Help your child work on proper time management by serving dinner at a consistent time each day. This allows him or her to know what is coming in the evening and plan around it. While this may not be an option for all families because of work schedules or extracurriculars, aim for as much consistency as possible. If the same time each day is not an option, announce that day’s meal time early enough so that all household members can plan accordingly. If your student gets home at 4 p.m. and knows dinner is at 5:30 p.m., it may help him or her prioritize homework and decrease procrastination.
3. Make study time quiet time
In a household with multiple children, there may be all kinds of noise happening at any moment. If your high school student is studying for the SAT while your elementary-aged student is playing with a loud toy, that study time may not be used as effectively as possible. Designate a quiet time if noise causes an issue; this can encourage all students to work on homework at the same time or provide an opportunity for silent single-person activities like reading or drawing.
4. Make homework part of the family conversation
Homework is just another part of the day to discuss as a family. Whether it’s around the table, during a commercial break, or in the car, try bringing homework into the conversation. This should extend past the simple question of, “Is your homework done?” Ask about favorite projects, challenging assignments, and mundane busywork. Does he love writing research papers? Does she think vocabulary is for the birds? Find out your student’s preferences and learn about what’s happening in school. Talking about homework serves as a simple reminder to your student(s), adds accountability, and makes it known homework is a top priority of the household.
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