The earlier your child develops strong homework and study habits, the more prepared they will be for each grade. If you are hoping to get your child into a competitive private school program, demonstrable homework skills are especially important. Here are three ways to help your elementary school-aged child develop strong homework habits:
Create the Space for Homework
Children are affected by their environments, and many kids have a hard time buckling down and concentrating if their study space is loud, distracting, or chaotic. Creating a designated space at home for your child to study can help them focus and get into a homework mindset. It doesn't matter if they have an entire office for studying, or a desk in a quiet corner somewhere, but regardless their homework space should be quiet, un-cluttered, and well-lit.
Help Your Child Stay Organized
One crucial aspect of homework and studying mastery is organization. If your child knows what homework they are expected to work on each night, and when bigger projects and reports are due, their homework will feel much more manageable. For very small kids, a simple folder or tray system where they place uncompleted homework in one folder and completed homework in another should be sufficient. For older kids, a day planner where they write their assignments and due dates can be very helpful.
When it's time to sit down and do homework, start by going over anything their teacher has sent home and helping them figure out exactly what is on their plate for the evening. Have them write a to-do list for the evening and cross off one task at a time. Allowing them to take a quick break in between tasks can help them feel mentally refreshed.
Children pick up on their parents' attitudes, so it's important to be positive and solution-oriented when discussing homework. Avoid projecting any negative feelings you yourself have about homework or certain subjects, such as saying "I always hated math!" Instead of becoming anxious if your child is behind on their homework, say something like, "It would have been better if you got a head start but I know you can still do a good job. Which part do you think you should do first?" This creates a feeling of positivity and makes a big stack of homework feel less daunting.
By following these tips, you will help ensure that your child can more easily manage homework and studying without getting overwhelmed or behind.