These days, schools don't waste time. Children start getting homework assignments as early as kindergarten. As they get older, the sheer volume of homework can be downright overwhelming. So what's the best way for you to help with homework organization for your student? Create a calm and clutter-free place for your child to do her homework.
A Good Location Is Key
You may assume that your child's bedroom is the ideal location for your child to do her homework as most bedroom sets for children come with a desk and chair.
In fact, though, most bedrooms are full of distractions that may make it more difficult for your child to stay focused. Also it's harder for you to casually monitor homework activity if your child is in their room with the door closed.
If your home office is in a centralized location and is neat and organized, it might be an ideal homework center. This location would also help reinforce the difference between work and play for your child.
Younger children will stay more focused by doing their homework at the kitchen table because you are nearby. You can answer questions, monitor homework activity and start dinner preparations at the same time.
Most dining rooms are in a central location but are used infrequently. Yours could be an ideal location for a homework center, especially if your child requires a more quiet place to complete her work or your kitchen counter tops are a little too cluttered.
Design the Space
Wile your child may try to convince you that they can get their homework done while sprawled across the floor, bed or couch, encourage them to use a desk or table. This will help send the subtle message that there is a time to be focused and a time to be relaxed. A desk or table also makes it easier to ensure all necessary homework supplies are within reach.
If you want to create an effective and organized homework center, you need to make sure your child has all of the necessary supplies readily accessible in a homework supply kit. These supplies include: paper, pens, pencils, colored pencils, ruler, glue sticks, and scissors. Corral these supplies in a craft box or portable plastic bin. Label it the "Homework Supply Kit," and make it clear that these supplies are for homework only. Consider letting younger children decorate the box to make it personal and more fun to use.
It is difficult for your child to be neat and organized about their homework if their homework center is a cluttered mess. Encourage your child to straighten up the area at the end of each homework session by making sure all supplies have been put back into the kit and that any leftover papers or scraps have been thrown away.
Establish a Routine That Involves Their Space
While a neat and organized homework center is extremely important, it's only helpful if your child uses it to complete her homework.
One of the best ways you can help improve your child's homework organizational skills is by establishing a specific homework routine.
Routines by their very nature are meant to be done over and over again. Whatever routine you establish, it should be consistent and done the same way each day.
Take your child's personality and schedule into consideration like do they need a mental break between school and homework? If they are involved in any extracurricular activities or sports that include regular meetings or practices this may affect when they start their routine. If they play a musical instrument when will they practice? When is your child the most alert and focused, when they first get home or after they've had some downtime?
An homework routine could look something like this. After they arrive home from school and have a snack and a brief break they start their first homework session. If they play sports then they're off to practice then home for dinner. Before they jump in the shower they can do their second homework session. After they're clean they can decompress with a book or a TV show, then bed.
Provide Support During Homework Sessions
During the homework sessions, encourage your child to start with the most challenging assignment or to start with the homework for her least favorite subject. They'll be more focused at the beginning of their homework session, and they'll find it easier to complete their homework when the less challenging tasks are saved for last.
Whatever schedule you establish, it should help your child learn to establish priorities with homework being one of them, to manage her time to make sure these priorities are completed and that if they stay focused and gets her work done, there's time for television and relaxation before bed.
These are organizational skills that will help your child in school and in life.