Good Homework Habits Can Make All the Difference

There’s debate about whether students should be given homework.  One side says that those who learn classroom material and then are given related homework retain more information.  It “sticks” better because of the repetition.

Others counter that the logistics of homework – lack of time in busy households, frustrated parental involvement and overcoming procrastination – outweighs the benefits.  Bad experiences can make your student hate the learning process.

Regardless of your viewpoint, sometimes homework is mandatory.  As head of Miracle Math Coaching and an expert in brain-based learning, I can help.   Here are the best strategies for making work done at home as painless as possible.  As a Mom, I know they work.

By the way, the National PTA recommends students spend 10 minutes studying a night for number of the grade they’re in.  For example, a first-grader should do 10 minutes of homework and a 9th-grader would do 90 minutes.

  1. Turn off everything.  No phones, television, stereo, videogames, and only use the computer or laptop for studying.  No distractions.
  1. Get organized.  Set up a separate area – for example, the dining room table or a corner of a bedroom – that’s quiet.  Have older students compileall folders and notebooks into a binder; allocate a section to each subject area.
  1. “Take 10” every time you do homework.  Have your older student take two minutes to put loose papers into proper folders and take eight minutes to review handouts and notes from class.
  1. Use a timer.  Allotting 15 or 20 minutes to a reading assignment or a section of homework sheets will keep them focused.  When the timer bings, have them get up and stretch or do jumping jacks.   Or, you can use the timer to challenge them, ie see how many math problems they can complete in 10 minutes.
  1. Encourage them to work on the most challenging assignments first.  The hardest subjects to study require the most effort.  When they first sit down to do homework, they’ll have the most mental energy to tackle these assignments.
  1. Make flash cards.  Index cards or plain paper folded and cut to the size of cards are great for visual learners.  Put questions on one side and answers on the other, and quiz them until they get all the answers right.  This is especially good for preparing for spelling tests.
  1. Have them say stuff out loud.   Repeating the material they’re learning out loud will help them remember it.
  1. Make sure they eat well while studying.  If they’re studying before dinner, have snacks ready.  Avoid sugar.  Focus on “slow release” carbohydrates like non-starchy veggies (carrots and celery), fresh fruits and nuts.  These will keep your children’s blood sugar levels stable and better satisfy hunger.

And if you’re looking for additional academic support for your student, please visit our website www.miraclemathcoaching.com or call me at 707-398-3474, ext. 2700.  Miracle Math Coaching is an award-winning, student-focused service with a track record of boosting academic achievement.

 

 

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