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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Homework Habits

Homework Habits

Homework and the struggles it brings will be a constant in your child's life for many years. The best way to make the process easier for your child and you is to institute some ground rules early in the process. Studies have shown that children who have a consistent homework routine score better on tests, score higher in grades and show a higher tendency to problem-solve better. To get your child on the right track, follow the suggestions below.

• Create a designated homework area. This area can be a desk in your child's room, a desk in the living area and even a place at the dining room table. The key is to designate a certain spot in which your child always sits down to do his or her homework. By picking a certain area, your child will understand that homework is to be done there and they will be less likely to play or engage in some other activity. Many parents like to choose a place for homework that is in plain view so that they can keep tabs on their child and gently head off any distraction problems. That is fine as long as the designated area is not in view of an active television or other distracting activity.

• Designate a 'homework' time. Setting aside the same hours each night to complete homework will help your child get into a routine and allow them to be better at completing their homework. For example, if your child knows that everyday between four and five o'clock they are to be doing homework, they will be less likely to procrastinate and more likely to immediately settle into doing their homework without having to be reminded every few minutes. Plus, this practice will teach them time management skills that they can use throughout their lives.

• Designate a spot to store all homework supplies. If your child has a predetermined spot in which to keep all of his or her supplies, then they will be less likely to forget an important item or waste time searching for an item before they can begin. This habit will also teach them organizational skills and help them to plan out their actions.

• Teach them good study habits. Many books are available on the subject and some schools offer study habit classes. Encourage your child to learn these techniques. Children with good study habits have higher grades and score better on tests.

• Help your child plan their homework time. By listing the assignments they have and making a plan for how to accomplish them, your child will be better able to complete all of their homework within the set homework time. If your child seems to lose interest halfway through homework time or begins to get antsy, have them complete harder assignments first. If your child is slow to get started or needs the re-enforcement of a job well done to complete harder tasks, have them start with the easier assignments first.

• Offer help but teach your children to help themselves. Have a dictionary near your child's workstation. If they ask you how to spell a word, tell them to try looking it up first. If they are unable to do that, offer to help them look it but never just spell it for them. If you teach them how to correctly locate any help they need on their own, they will be better prepared for an independent life. However, if your child is really struggling, or seems overly frustrated, it is ok to jump in and help them out every once in a while. Just make sure that they find their own solutions more often that you hand them to them.

• Another great place to find a homework help tip is from your child's teacher. At the beginning of each year it would be wise to sit down with the teacher and explain your homework routine. Then ask them if they have any additional ideas.
By setting a routine early on, you can help your child build a lifetime of usable skills.

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