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Homework Tips For a Successful School Year
Now that most students have been in school for a few weeks, the challenge of completing their homework can begin. Many students struggle to complete their homework every night in a timely, accurate, and productive manner without getting frustrated. There are several strategies a student can adopt to minimize difficulties with homework each night of the week.
First, a student must have an action plan or homework schedule. The student must take into account several factors and variables. The first concerns extracurricular and sports activities. Make a schedule of days and times of all obligations. Next, determine what time and for how long you need to complete your homework. Once the timeline is determined, an action plan will follow. I recommend having a healthy snack before you finish homework, especially if you’re working right after school. Breaks should be taken often to keep your mind sharp and avoid boredom. A good study area without distractions is important. A student should have a quiet place, with plenty of desk space and appropriate school supplies to be affective.
Next, the student must determine the order in which the assignments must be completed. There are many different strategies to follow, but the best I’ve seen is to complete assignments from hardest to easiest. Whichever subject is the most difficult for the student, this assignment should be completed first. Also, assignments due the next day must be completed before long-term assignments are tackled. If a student has 20 math problems to complete for class the next day and an English essay to be written next week, the math homework should be completed first. Then, the student should work for 20-30 minutes on the essay each evening so that the day before the deadline, they don’t have to spend hours completing the assignment.
The next question is usually how much time should a student spend on homework. Of course, it depends on the class of the student. Here are some guidelines to follow:
1st year: 20 minutes
Grades 2-4: 30 minutes
Grades 5-6: 1 hour
7th-8th year: 1h – 1h30
Grades 9-12: 30 minutes per subject
Any time spent beyond these guidelines usually proves overwhelming and counterproductive for the student.
Don’t forget about study time and grade review. In my opinion, there is no such thing as “Oh, I don’t have homework tonight, the teacher didn’t give anything”. Even if there is no homework due the next day, a student should still review their class notes from that day or reread the current chapter of the textbook. Time should be spent each night studying current material and reviewing past material. Real learning comes from students retaining knowledge in their long-term memory rather than cramming it into their short-term memory for a test. Through constant review and recycling of material, a student will gain real learning.
Finally, if a student is really struggling to finish their homework each night, it might be time to seek out a private home tutor. A private tutor can help a student with their homework, but they can do much more than that. A private home tutor can help a student gain confidence in school with subject matter and improve their grades. If a student is struggling at the start of the school year, the longer a parent waits to find the student’s help, the harder it will be for the student to do well in the classroom.
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