Now that most students have been in school for a few weeks, the challenge of completing homework may be starting. Many students struggle with completing their homework each night in a timely, accurate, productive way without getting frustrated. There are several strategies a student can take to minimize homework struggles each night of the week.
First, a student must have a homework plan of action or schedule. The student needs to take into account several factors and variables. The first one is after school activities and sports. Make out a schedule of the days and times of all obligations. Then, figure out what time and for how long you have to complete your homework. Once the schedule is determined, a plan of action will follow. I recommend having a healthy snack before completing homework especially if you will be working right after school. Breaks should be taken often to keep your mind sharp and boredom at bay. A good study area without distractions is important. A student should have a quiet area, with plenty of desk space, and appropriate school supplies to be affective.
Next, the student should determine the order in which homework should be completed. There are many different strategies to follow, but the best one I have seen is to complete the homework from hardest to easiest. Whatever subject is the most difficult for the student, this homework should be completed first. Also, assignments that are due the next day should be completed before long-term assignments are tackled. If a student has 20 math problems to complete for class the next day and an essay to write for English that is due the next week, the math homework should be finished first. Then, the student should work for 20-30 minutes on the essay each night so that the night before it is due he/she will not have to spend hours completing the assignment.
The next question is usually, how long should a student spend doing his/her homework. Of course this depends on the grade of the student. Here are some guidelines to follow:
1st Grade: 20 minutes
2-4th Grades: 30 minutes
5-6th Grades: 1 hour
7-8th Grades: 1 hour – 1 ½ hours
9-12th Grades: 30 minutes per subject
Any more time spent than these guidelines usually proves to be overwhelming and counter-productive for the student.
Please do not forget about study time and notes review. In my opinion, there is no such thing as, “Oh, I don’t have any homework tonight, the teacher did not assign anything.” Even if there is no assignment due the next day, a student should always review their class notes from that day or re-read the current chapter in the textbook. Time should be spent every night studying the current material and reviewing past material. True learning comes from students retaining knowledge in their long-term memories rather than cramming it in their short- term memories for a test. Through constant review and recycling of the material, a student will gain true learning.
Lastly, if a student is truly struggling with completing his/her homework each night, it may be time to seek out a private in-home tutor. A private tutor can help a student complete his/her homework, but they can do so much more than this. A private in-home tutor can help a student gain confidence in school with the subject matter and improve his/her grades. If a student is struggling early on in the school year, the longer a parent waits to find the student help, the more difficult it will be for the student to succeed in the class. Aim for the Stars Tutoring out of Douglas County, Colorado provides in-home, one-on-one tutoring for students in all subjects and grades. For more information, please visit our website at: www.AimfortheStarsTutoring.com