Every afternoon and every evening, parents around the world face the prospect of coaxing, nagging and cajoling their children into doing their homework. The dread surrounding after school and weekend assignments can make that innocent multiplication worksheet look like a math monster. Prepping for the daily homework ritual can make a world of difference. You create an environment and a routine conducive to your children doing their homework with less struggle and completing it more independently.
If your children regularly do their homework in the same place, make that place pleasant but not too stimulating. A homework station may be the kitchen table or a shared desk, and it should not be near any loud music or other media. Keep the television, video player and computer off, unless you require media to do research. A good homework station has enough light for reading and studying, comfortable seating (but not too comfortable) and a flat surface for writing.
Parents often start homework sessions frustrated when children claim to have lost all their necessary materials. Avoid this plight by keeping a basket of basic school supplies near the homework station. Pencils, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, markers, pens and colored pencils at the ready help do away with procrastination. Other materials you may want in a homework basket include blank paper, a notebook, a ruler, stapler, paper clips, a protractor, rubber stamps, a stamp pad, stickers and a compass. Keep a copy of teacher phone numbers or email addresses nearby in case you need to clarify an assignment.
Scholastic has a basic supplies list that covers most homework needs: http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/school-supplies-to-keep-at-home
Children often need help from outside sources while doing homework. However, parents do not have to be their only outside source. Using the internet for outside research may be daunting, so bookmark a series of good online research sites for children to ensure they access high quality, comprehensible information.
For older children, juggling projects, studying, classes, tests and daily homework needs can be daunting. The myHomework iPhone application provides a simple, intuitive template for students to enter homework and other schedule information and boost their time management skills.
If you dread homework time as much as your children, make it more palatable. Set short-term goals such as your child completing one assignment before taking a break to walk outside or make a healthy snack. Create a mellow soundtrack for study with classical music or nature sounds. Introduce some fun and funky school supplies to the homework area every week, such as gel pens, printed stationery or scented erasers. Armed with these tools, you and your children can tame the homework monster.
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