8 Tips for Homework Time with your Kid
Homework time can be a source of stress for parents. It is important to start establishing good study habits as early as primary years; good study habits will result in reducing the stress as well as teaching your children good organizational skills that would help them in adulthood. Here are some ideas for improving homework and study skills:
- Provide a place for studying: find a quiet place with a good source of light. You may choose to have a small desk (appropriate height and size) for your child in his/her room facing the wall to minimize distraction.
- Make sure the study table/desk has all supplies needed such as pencils, erasers, highlighters, markers, scissors…etc.
- Create homework time: it is very important to create a specific routine and time for doing homework on daily basis. After your child gets used to the routine, there will be less struggle to get him/her started.
- Use checklists, calendars, and timers:
- Teach your child to estimate how long it needs to finish a specific homework.
- Break long assignments into smaller workable chunks.
- Allow short movement breaks between assignments and make sure to use a timer to help your child learn the sense of time.
- Use calendars for activities and long-term assignments.
- Help your child develop a system to keep track of important papers:
- You may use color coded system using different colored folders or a big folder with different dividers for different subjects.
- You may use a two-pocket folder, one side for finished assignments to submit, and the other side for unfinished assignments.
- Make sure your child uses the school agenda to keep track of assignments. You may also need to stay in contact with your child’s teacher or other classmates when you feel your child does not have enough information.
- Make sure your child does his/her own work:
- Start by choosing small assignments that you are sure your child could do on his/her own.
- Gradually add more assignments as your child learns to do work independently.
- Use reward charts to encourage your child to complete tasks independently.
- Monitor your child’s work and allow time for answering questions when needed.
- Teach your child to read for comprehension and to remember. For example, you may teach him/her the SQ3R’S strategy:
- Scan/survey: Look over the material with your child before reading to understand what it will be about.
- Question: Turn titles into questions to help your child get interested in reading.
- Read and underline: Read the material and underline or highlight main ideas and supporting ideas.
- Recite: Stop after each section or paragraph and recite with your child what he/she just learned.
- Review: Review the entire section to help your child learn to relate ideas.
Although children should begin learning organizational and study skills during primary years, it is never too late to help your child develop these skills. Teaching organizational skills require constant monitoring before children can automatically and independently apply these skills.