Creating a Homework Routine That Works

As first quarter grades are coming home you may be finding a need to develop a new homework routine. It is essential to create an effective homework system for optimum student performance. Unfortunately it isn’t always easy to get homework done with the bombardment of distractions with which the average student has to deal. The following strategies should help create a program that will work for any student, any age and any grade.

Decide On A Time – One Size Does Not Fit All

There are two main theories about when homework should be done. The first states that homework should be completed immediately after school to get it out of the way and take advantage of the fact that the brain is still in “school mode” and prevents the chance that the student will forget later on amongst the hustle and bustle of dinner and bedtime. The second theory states that the student should be allowed a break after school to decompress and refresh the brain. Many students have extra-curriculum activities directly after school and can’t do homework right away. Actually I think neither theory is right or wrong. It all depends upon the specific student. Some kids are exhausted by the end of school and need some time to recharge. They also have the discipline and organization to go back and remember to do their homework later. In this case it is still important to set a specific time (maybe right after dinner and before television). Other students do not have the ability to remember to do homework and should do it as soon as they get home from school in order to ensure it gets done. Recognize if this is your particular case and set a firm “homework-first” rule.

Set Up The Right Environment

Students should not be distracted while doing homework. I know plenty of kids, mostly teens, who swear they need music or TV. in the background to concentrate. Background noise does one thing and one thing only – distract. This noise takes valuable concentration away from the student and significantly lowers retention of information. These are not great characteristics for studying. So the homework area should be quite, brightly lit and comfortable but not lounge-like. An uncluttered desk and office chair is good, a bed or beanbag chair not so great. Also keep all supplies – paper clips, stapler, paper, pens, and pencils – in one easily accessible place.

Be Available

This is advice for parents. I know it isn’t always easy to take time to help your children with homework, especially if like me you have multiple children. If you are unable to make 20 – 30 minutes every night, try for 10 each or even just 5 to look over what they did just to make sure they understood the assignment and material. Even if you have to ask your kids to leave their homework somewhere you can see it and you get up 1.2 hour early in the morning just to check it over and write a note to the teacher or tell your child about any concerns, it will show your kids that you are dedicated to their education and the good example you set will be worth the lost sleep.

As with just about everything in life, developing a good homework system is all about finding what works for your situation.


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