Though it might not be something students look forward to, homework is an essential element of the learning process. Homework allows kids to apply the lessons they learned in the classroom while giving educators a chance to determine if students are grasping the concepts discussed in class or if certain lessons need to be revisited.
Students often seek their parents’ help when doing their homework, but parents can start helping even before their children bring any assignments home. Creating a homework environment where kids can concentrate and put forth their best effort is a great way to help them throughout the school year. The following are a few tips for parents who want to ensure that home is as conducive a place as possible for students to do their best on homework assignments.
* Find a quiet space with little or no distractions. A quiet place in the home where kids can concentrate is essential when kids are doing homework. While a youngster’s bedroom might have sufficed years ago, today’s children tend to have bedrooms that mimic the showroom floor of an electronics store. If kids have televisions, video game consoles and stereos in their bedrooms, then that’s likely not the best environment for them to do their homework. Kids can too easily grow distracted, so find a quiet area where kids can focus on their studies without being tempted by television, video games or other distractions not conducive to studying.
* Designate a time each day when kids do their homework. Another way to make your home more amenable to homework is to designate a time each day when kids will study. Let other members of the household know that this is a quiet time in the house so kids aren’t distracted. Once kids get comfortable in this routine they likely won’t need much prodding to do their homework, and this designated quiet time in the household can be a relaxing time for other members of the household as well.
* Have healthy snacks available. Few people do their best work on an empty stomach, so if kids will be doing their homework immediately after school, make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand. Elementary and high school students tend to eat lunch earlier than adults, so they’re liable to be hungry when they arrive home from school in the mid- to late-afternoon. Have plenty of fresh fruit on hand so kids can satisfy their hunger. Less healthy snacks might satisfy youngster’s hunger pangs, but such snacks may also make kids drowsy, negatively affecting their ability to concentrate and indirectly hindering their schoolwork as a result.
* Let kids know their work will be checked nightly. Parents who want to create an environment where their children approach homework seriously should let their kids know their work will be checked each night, and they will need to redo any assignments that were not completed correctly. This prevents kids from rushing through assignments without giving their best efforts.
Few youngsters look forward to homework. While parents might not be able to change their kids’ attitudes toward homework, they can change their home to make it as positive an environment for kids to pursue their studies as possible.