Month: January 2016

Helping Children Get the Most from Doing Their Homework

There have been many research studies conducted that demonstrate the benefits of having children do homework, both to reinforce lessons learned in class and to encourage an interest in learning on their own. According to these studies, children who spend more time on meaningful, regular homework assignments do much better in school than those who do not. Because of the active and busy lifestyles of parents and children nowadays, sometimes, it seems as though children are given too much homework. But because scholastic abilities are more important than extracurricular ones when it comes to future career success, it is well worth it to help your child get the most out of completing his or her assignments regularly.

When planning your child’s schedule for activities outside school, such as sports, church, youth clubs, or social gatherings, you should assume that your child will have studying to do every weeknight. Be sure your child knows that you think homework is important, and you expect him to tackle it no matter how challenging or boring it may seem. If you are not home while your child is doing his homework, make sure he knows that you will be following up with him after you get home. Always ask to see his completed homework before going to bed, to be sure he has completed it.

Discuss his stuff and ask if he understood the assignments. If he’s having trouble completing something, you may want to sit with him and work a few examples together, helping him understand how to complete the assignment. Whatever you do, DON’T do your child’s homework for him. Instead, help him learn how to do it himself, and help him learn how to ask meaningful questions and do the research necessary to complete an assignment. Ask your kid to show you his completed work after it is returned by the teacher, so you can find out if there are any areas where he is having any trouble. This will also give you insight as to whether or not your child is meeting the teacher’s goals for learning.

Stay in touch with your child’s teachers, and be as involved in parent activities as your schedule allows. Ask teachers how you can support the curriculum they are teaching, and ask your school if they have any particular tips or guidelines for helping your child develop good study habits. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a teacher if your kid doesn’t understand an assignment, or if you feel an assignment is unwarranted or too difficult for your child. If your child is having trouble with homework, he or she may also be having trouble in class, so catching problems early will allow you and your child to overcome educational challenges, before they become insurmountable.

Do your best to encourage your child to look forward to homework and the challenges it presents. Help him learn to do it himself and take pride in his work. Make it a habit to praise him regularly for doing well. For a younger child, proudly display his best work. For an older child, reward accomplishments with special treats or allowing him to participate in an activity he enjoys. If he has trouble keeping track of long-term or weekly homework, help him learn to organize assignments by recording them on calendars or planners, along with due dates and dates turned in.

Remember, you and your child’s teachers have the same goal with homework―to help your child learn. Help support the teachers, and ultimately your child, by ensuring that he gets the most out of doing homework.

How Much is Too Much Homework

Rags to riches stories of many millionaires are replete with instances of hardship suffered by these achievers during their youth. Winners are people who are resolute and endlessly pursue their goals. They work meticulously every step of the way and stay resilient even when they do not succeed. They work hard day and night. For them, hard work is to enjoy challenging work and succeed in it. However, hard work does not mean spending a particular number of hours and energy everyday. It doesn’t even mean relaxing as little as you can.

Nevertheless, hard work is the only mantra to succeed. Nothing can surpass the excellence of hard work. It is regarded as the key to win the world; this has been proved correct since the times immemorial. It is rightly said that even gold begins to melt when it is put to the test of fire. The moment we enter the teenage, we began to stagger and our mind becomes full of anxiety. All this happens because of our appetite to become more and more successful in life.

Then again, the word success has dominated man completely. Its impact is so much that even people with enormous confidence are seen under a peculiar fear, with their mind and soul under tension. The pressure of succeeding makes us work hard. Though this is absolutely necessary, there needs to be a limit. Too much of anything is bad.

Coming back to homework, it’s just the same here too. When does homework seem like a lot? Maybe when it come across as unnecessary. Maybe when it exists just for namesake and doesn’t teach anything new. Is homework given with the purpose of teaching practice makes one perfect? In that case, how much practicing are we talking about?

Homework has its advantages; too many of them. If for a second we replace homework with hard work, what do we see? Is too much homework synonymous with too much hard work? Yes. Just like hard work, homework needs to have a direction; it needs to have a reason, a purpose. If we observe all the greatest endeavors carried out in this world, we find that behind them hard work is the sole driving force, without which nothing is possible. So, does homework lay the foundation of hard work in the future? Is it getting the students ready for what’s out there? We must agree that hard work forms the foundation of every new achievement, every new invention, and every new discovery with eventual victory.

The passion to hard work cannot be imposed upon anyone. It comes from deep inside one’s heart. Hard work cannot be measured. The quantity of hard work passed depends upon how much positive your approach towards life is. However, homework can be measured. Are you technically doing the same thing over and over again only because you’ve been told to? Is there no scope for improving or testing your approach to the subject? Does it seem more like donkey work than innovation and ideation?

The answer is simple – find out the reason. If by completing all the homework you’re going to get better at something, do it. If the homework is redundant and is teaching you nothing new, maybe it’s time to talk it out with your teacher. If the reason for abandoning your homework is solely to have more time to relax, maybe you should reconsider your approach. The key is to find balance. All the best!

How to Concentrate on Your Homework

Any task that is supposed to be completed at home can be termed as homework. There are a few students who are excellent in their classwork, but face difficulty while doing their homework. This is because of a lack of concentration which also includes distractions present in the house. There are a few adjustments to be done to improve your focus on homework and obtain good grades. Let us try to find out appropriate techniques to concentrate while doing homework in order to get it done faster.

What NOT to Do

I believe once we have determined what not to do, it is easier to decide on what to do. Following are a few things you can avoid while doing homework.

Don’t sit anywhere near a television, computer or any other source of distraction. Even if they are switched off, you might just feel like switching on the television and watching it for sometime. So it’s better to keep them out of sight until you are done with your homework.
Don’t get distracted by a knock at the door; it can be attended by someone else.
Don’t ever procrastinate. It will make you even more tired and stressed out which is bad. Furthermore, you won’t like doing it at all and will end up wasting valuable time. Ultimately, you will regret not doing it when you had time for it.
Never save the difficult part of your homework till the end, finish it off as early as possible. It may require more time, hence you may not be able to finish it on time. On the other hand, even if you manage to do it, you are likely to make mistakes and run into a risk of bad grades. Likewise, never try to do the incomplete homework between two periods or lunch break, reason being the same that you might end up doing it incorrectly, which will again affect your grades.
Never copy stuff from others as you might get caught, and apart from that it is in no way beneficial to you.
Lastly, do not ponder too much looking for different ways to concentrate on homework; just get it done.

What TO Do

Now that you are sure about what not to do, focus on what you shall do to concentrate on your homework.

Firstly, find a quiet place free of distractions. It is said that nature increases your productivity and concentration, so arrange your desk at the side of a window that offers you the backyard view. However, make sure that there are no distractions outside.
Secondly, keep the required materials handy so that you won’t have to get up often and lose the link of whatever you are doing.
Your posture is very important while doing homework. You should sit upright in a chair with the desk in front to allow proper blood flow throughout the body. Avoid being too comfortable (like sitting on the bed or wearing a night suit) as you can feel sleepy.
Try to speak aloud if you are reciting anything. It will keep you focused and unaffected by the disturbance in the surroundings.
You should plan a homework schedule and follow it honestly. If you feel stressed-out at some point and want to take an unplanned break, make a note of it in your schedule. This will help you be along the time-table, however do not overdo it. Set deadlines which will help you complete not only the work at school or college level, but throughout life too.
Take a break in between for at least 10 minutes. This will refresh your mind and make you feel relaxed mentally as well as physically. Avoid watching television or playing games during the break, instead, listen to a few soothing music tracks. This will enhance your concentration level for the remaining homework activity.
Eat before you begin again. Eating healthy snacks during a task will give you energy and sharpen your memory.
Request your family members to give you privacy until the work is done.
Finally, do not hesitate to reward yourself after completing the work because rewards are meant for appreciation of good work and motivation to continue the effort. Either do things you were longing for during the work or treat yourself at your favorite restaurant.

Tips for Parents

Parents’ role comes into the picture when we consider children ranging from 1st to the 5th grade. These children need proper guidance in their homework because they are not yet capable of planning out their schedule. Apart from their ability, they live in a world of gadgets; they surf, play games, listen to music on their iPods, and what not. With so many potential distractions, it becomes difficult for children to get away and concentrate on homework. What can parents do to deal with such a situation? I am sure all parents have some or the other way to make their children focus, however, the ways sometimes can be too rigid and your child might get frustrated. He/she then won’t feel like doing the task anymore which might bring in complications regarding his/her academic progress. That is why here are a few tips that can be effective to make your child stay focused while doing not only homework but also any other task in life.

Firstly, if you think your child is mature enough to understand the benefits of homework, go ahead and explain it to him. This will make your task easier and your child will do the task willingly.
Plan out a homework schedule for your child. The important thing in the schedule should be the time. Set rules for homework time to avoid disturbances during the task. Matters can be even worse in summer when other children begin their vacation at different times. It is better to be flexible in the planning, and adjust according to the changes.
Next important thing is to do away with the distractions. As I have said earlier, the distractions have enough potential to make the child lose focus on his/her task and spend time in other less important things. You should not allow the child to get distracted by television, computer, or video games. In fact, you can promise to play along once the homework is finished. However, you can allow him/her to listen to music because for some people, music is a good way to concentrate. Playing some instrumental or classical music tracks in the background can be effective.
A reward can make a lot of difference in motivating your child to concentrate on his homework. However, it should not turn into bribing because the child may get into the habit of expecting returns for every task, which is not at all a good thing. Try to avoid material rewards as they can easily turn into bribes. Instead, you can assure them of spending some quality time together. You can also make them come up with stuff they would like to do after completing their homework in the given time.
Motivation is another important factor that can do a lot to improve your child’s concentration, and praise will do the job of motivation for you. Appreciate even the smallest effort made by the child which will reinforce the motivational spirit.

These are some guidelines, which will help concentrate on your homework. Find ways to make your assignments more interesting. If you have a choice, select topics that interest you. For some more tips, you can always talk to your teacher, a counselor, or even your parents as they are capable of guiding and supporting you.

Benefits of Homework

For Younger Children
Benefits of HomeworkHomework should be short, and should involve activities like sports and reading high-interest books. It should be a way of developing better time management skills by learning to avoid distractions.
Homework has been a topic of debate for quite some time now. People have been going back and forth, when it comes to considering the upsides and downsides of homework.
Supporters of homework believe that it is important, because it prepares children for the competition that they have to face in their life. Proponents also believe that homework helps reinforce the concepts taught in school. But disputants believe that the extra time that children get at home, can be used for some co-curricular activities, thus introducing them to new realms of life and expanding their horizon.
Benefits in a Nutshell
▸Homework encourages student initiative and builds a sense of responsibility and commitment towards schoolwork.
▸It serves as a practice of the school curriculum and prepares the students for school tests and competitive exams.
▸It establishes a communication link between students, parents and teachers.
By definition, homework constitutes the out-of-class or at-home activities that the teachers assign to students. These activities are an extension to schoolwork. Homework can include practice assignments that emphasize newly acquired skills. It can be in the form of preparation assignments to make students ready for class activities. Projects that have to be worked on in parallel with schoolwork also form a part of homework. The project work may continue throughout the term or the entire academic year. In these activities, students apply their academic skills to create a piece of work through research.Gone are the days when ‘completing homework’ used to be the only option available. Today, children have many distractions and they have to win the battle against those, and it’s not easy! Perhaps, reading the benefits of homework enlisted here, will help you out of the dilemma. (Read this out to your children too.)
Homework Teaches Children…

Student taking initiative
Children initiate study. Homework makes them take the initiative. Teachers get the schoolwork done from students whereas students initiate doing homework. There is a sense of responsibility associated with completing their homework and a feeling of accomplishment after completing it.

Develop Time Management
Children start allotting their time to study and play, thus learning to complete their scheduled tasks in the time they have. They learn to set priorities and also to do things on their own. They manage their time and complete their work independently. Homework encourages self-discipline in the kids.

Learn with Interest
Homework builds confidence in their minds. Teachers give comments on the work students do. Teachers’ positive remarks boost the students’ confidence and encourage them to keep up with their good work. They learn to follow instructions and complete their assignments with responsibility. They need to explore various topics, refer to research material, and search for information in order to do the home assignments. Thus, homework helps in developing an aptitude for exploring and learning.

To Improve the Grasp on Subjects
Students get an opportunity to apply their skills and enhance them. Homework gives students a chance to learn from their mistakes and improve on their weaknesses. Home assignments provide them with a platform to express what they know or have newly found out, and exhibit their talent. Homework gives students the practice of whatever they learn in school, thus helping in the reinforcement of the concepts learned. This helps them score better in class tests and eventually improves their academic results.

The Importance of Planning
Be it assignments or projects, completing them requires planning, organizing and acting upon them. The task of completing the homework on time and regularly, helps generate in the child, a sense of proper planning. Managing time and planning are two terms with a thin line of difference between them. While proper time management allocates a fixed time for sitting down for homework, planning involves ways to get all the homework done – subject by subject one after the other, based on their levels of difficulty.

Homework should be Proportionate to the Students’ Age and Mental Ability
Obviously, it is the amount of homework that governs its benefits. Homework that gradually increases every year enhances academic achievement but it should not become a punishment. The amount and difficulty level of homework assignments should match the age and ability of the students. Homework proves to be beneficial only if it does not put the students under stress or pressure. It is not good to burden them with assignments and expect them to do well in studies.Parents should Encourage Homework
The motivation offered by homework should be accompanied by parent involvement. Some say that homework serves as a link between the school and home. Parents must strengthen this link by taking interest and supporting their children in their home assignments. Parents play an important part, when it comes to showing children that homework is not boring and that it is definitely not a waste of time.
I believe in the benefits of homework. But according to me, homework in the form of projects is more helpful than practice assignments. Students should be encouraged to work creatively. A project on a topic outside the school curriculum leads students to explore new subjects and learn new and interesting things they didn’t know about. It encourages general reading. Studies do not remain monotonous. Children think, research and innovate. This results in an added advantage of homework that studies do not remain confined to textbooks. Children realize that there’s a world beyond. ‘Good’ homework is their window to this world.