Chances are homework will not be your child's favorite activity. At the end of the day, the last thing you want is to argue with your child about doing homework. Rather than prod and argue, here are some suggestions to help you structure homework.
Schedule Homework Time
Set a homework time and stick to it. Empty agenda book? Check out your child's teacher websites or Google classrooms. To access each Google classroom, you will need your child's username and password.
Homework as a Priority
Participation in activities is an important part of your child's social and emotional growth. However, attempting to squeeze homework into a long list of after school activities can exasperate his homework anxieties. Limit the amount of activities your child gets involved in so that he can manage his schedule. If together you are having a difficult time deciding which activities are most important, have him rate each activity on a scale of 1-5 (5 being a must have and 1 being could live without). You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you agree.
Get Help With It
Social phone calls should be discouraged during homework time. As a matter of fact, put the phone away! Have your child turn it off completely or hand it over to you. However, a quick call to a friend or classmate to discuss an assignment could be useful, especially if your child is confused by the material. If you child seems to need excessive help, talk with his teacher about getting extra help. Also, have your child come see Mrs. Azzara for assistance in getting a Peer Tutor. We have 8th grade students and Peer Leaders who are available during Enrichment to assist tudents grades 6-8 in various subjects including organization skills!
Creating a Happy and Productive Homework Environment
To help the process go smoothly, you can create a work environment that is both fun and functional.
Pick a Place
Designate a spot in your home - a desk, kitchen or dining room table or any place with a good writing surface, for your child to work. Be sure the lighting is good minimize any noise or distractions. If a private place is not possible, consider creating a cubicle from a cardboard box to stand up on the work surface. Working on a desk or table versus on the floor or bed improves posture and keeps your child alert.
Create a Portable Tool Box
Each time your child has to get up and find an eraser or pen, he is subject to distractions. Keep your child focused by creating a box of supplies that can be transported to his workplace. "Tools" to consider:
- Pencil Sharpener
- Paper clips
- Hole puncher
- Stapler, staples & stapler remover
- Post it notepads
A two pocket homework folder where your child can keep his homework assignments would be helpful. On the inside of the folder, label one side "Homework to do" and the other side "Homework Done." This folder should travel with your child to each of his classes with his agenda. Be sure to help your child make use of the school agenda. Help him learn how to plot out long term assignments in order to do a little bit each day to prevent him from becoming overwhelmed the day before a long-term assignment is due.
Some students may choose to use their Google calendar to help them keep track of due dates. The Google calendar is easilty accessable on student chromebooks. Furthermore, students can get assistance from one of our technolgoy coaches (Mrs. Garrison or Mrs. Pohan) to learn how to sync their Google calendar with their smartphones.
Students can also join an organizational/study skills group with Mrs. Azzara. There are groups for each grade level. Organization groups meet during Enrichment.
Designate a Showcase
Designate a place where your child can up the work his is proud of. This can be a bulletin board in his room or the refrigerator. This will give him incentive to keep doing his best.
Compliment Your Child's Efforts
Praise, Praise, Praise - even the smallests of efforts. Over time those positively reinforced efforts become good habits!