What once used to be fun and minimally time consuming has become one of the most stressful and draining times during a kid’s day. Apart from class work, debates, sports and a varied amount of other activities in school, teachers are setting a fairly exorbitant amount of homework, nowadays. This leaves many children stressing about the next day of school because, invariably, they find themselves unable to complete all the work and assignments given to them on, usually, short deadlines.
However trying it may be to stay on top of homework and at the top of your class, it is not altogether impossible. With the right tools and schedules and determination to move ahead, homework need not be piled up till the umpteenth moment. For most kid’s studying involves a set number of rules and organized habits while for others they may use a more haphazard but — to them — appealing method of study.
- Having a set room to study in or a designated study area
It is usually an unsaid norm for each child to have an assigned study area. This ensures that all their books, stationary and other required material is in one spot and the moment they sit down their focus will be on the work that they have to complete.
This also ensures that they do not lose any of their important study material. It helps to save time and energy as well because if their things were scattered all over the place then they would spend a lot of their energy running around trying to find it and when it comes down to actually doing their work, their energy will be half drained.
- Taking out time to study
While most of a child’s day is spent in school, parents usually encourage them to take on activities outside the ones they already participate in, in school. Incorporating a lot of activities may be good but children only ever have energy for the things they enjoy and unfortunately homework is not one of them. This is why parents must ensure that their children have more than enough time in their schedules to calmly sit and finish their days work.
When it comes to studying time tiredness sets in almost immediately, so parents should ensure that their children are also well rested before they begin their homework.
- Monitoring their work
Generally, children in lower classes require monitory during study hours at home, just like it is as school. This is to ensure that they are understand the work they are doing and not simply following rules, and also to ensure that they work correctly within the given guidelines. Children in the younger age groups require a certain amount of assistance from adults. But it is key to remember that you are only supposed to help them at a juncture they find difficult and help them think and solve problems, and not do all their work for them.
- Listening to music/chewing gum
A lot of kids in high school and college, these days, find that distractions help them focus better. It has also been proven that instrumental music or lyrics in a language other than the one used in a book that a student is reading in that moment helps them to focus on what is directly in front of them. This usually helps when reading a novel or trying to memorize certain facts. It is proven to be especially successful when studying math.
Some scientists, who have conducted a varying numbers of studies on the matter, have come to the conclusion that chewing the same flavoured gum while studying and then giving an exam can assist in remembering facts. The continuous chewing motion also sets a rhythm that allows a student to focus on their homework.
- Removing all distractions
While for some kid’s distractions help them focus, for most, distractions are a major hindrance in their performance. Some need all forms of technology taken away from them in order for them to focus on one thing because multitasking is not something everyone can master. Although, these days, that is difficult because laptops and the internet are required for almost every school project and assignment. What parents can do is check on them at regular intervals, this ensure that they are not wandering off onto Facebook and other sites.
- Getting enough rest
Getting enough sleep and rest is essential for kids and adults alike. At least eight hours of sleep at night and an hour or two during the day is necessary for people to function properly and go through the day and a number of tasks without getting excessively drained and, consequently, ill.
While getting enough rest is key it will also do well to note that staying healthy and getting exercise also aids the building of brain muscles and helps with energy levels through the day. Eating fruits and vegetables and maintaining and overall balanced diet will help not only with gaining and maintaining energy but with memory and staying focused as well.
- Positive and Negative Reinforcement
Kids usually respond well to positive reinforcement. Doing good work or completing work should buy them an extra hour for television or games or hanging out with their friends or even extra dessert after dinner. Small rewards teach children that doing well will benefit them and get them good things. On the other hand, negative reinforcement can be rather stressful and lower self-esteem, so make sure that the punishments aren’t too harsh but just enough to prove a point.
Encouragements of this sort and motivating kids in other ways help to boost their productivity as well as their self-esteem. Praise them for good work and make them feels good and they will at least attempt to do as well, if not better from the next time.
- Making work fun
With kids in the younger age group it is easy to get them to do their homework if it is fun, colourful and interactive. Diagrams, flow charts, maps and pictures help them associate and retain better. Images and colours stick longer in a child’s mind when compared to plain, simple, and boring text.
When it comes to the older kid’s, making charts and diagrams also help. Get a board or using an unused wall to stick notes or make important points helps during study time and helps sort out and make the homework seem simpler.
Rewriting notes has also proven to help with memory. Sometimes rewriting class notes helps students to remember things in the long run and makes studying for an exam or test a lot less stressful since they don’t have to study as much.
- Staying organized
Making mental notes are not nearly enough. Making a physical list of tasks to be completed, or in this case homework, can help bring into focus what is important and what is not. Keeping a daily schedule and allotted times for doing homework is essential. Regular hours get kids into a habit of doing homework daily and it becomes a routine for them to adjust to. Make a schedule so that they have to work around their study timings rather than the other way around. Sometimes, simply the satisfaction of striking things off a to-do list can motivate a child to progress further.
- Other ways to help with homework
- Parents can make flash cards and fun interactive quizzes to keep kids on their toes and make homework seem less like work and more like a game that they can learn to enjoy.
- Teach kids that homework is not unnecessary and useless. Learning can be fun and is most definitely beneficial and essential for any future endeavour.
- Teach children the value of learning as opposed to simply studying. Allow them to explore different fields and areas in their study and diverge from the norm to find parts that interest them. In the process they not only learn what they are supposed to but a bunch of other facts as well.
- Teach them how to summarize texts and material. Learning to remember things in points helps kid’s to remember a lot more.
- Certain things can be difficult for kids to grasp. First try and explain it to them, allow them to take a break, clear their minds and approach the subject again, later, from a different angle.
Each child learns, retains, and progresses differently. Their frustrations and subject weaknesses differ. It is important to note of all these points in the process of studying so as to assist a child in learning and developing better study habits. Parents play a vital role in how their children study at home and in helping they develop these habits. Parents should pay close attention to the traits their children display and attempt to work around them. This is not an overnight process but can be achieved to make kids not only productive at home during study time but throughout school and their lives in the future.