If you run into conflicts trying to get your kids to do their homework, a dedicated homework station may be the solution. Creating a space just for learning will help your child to do better in school while maintaining more harmony in your home.
Setting Up Your Homework Station
1. Pick a quiet spot. Look for a spot that will enable your child to concentrate while you provide whatever level of supervision they need. The kitchen or dining room table are often good options. 2. Banish most electronics. Save the cell phone calls and video games for later. You may want to give your child a computer without internet access or limit their browsing to what they need for their assignments. 3. Stock up on homework supplies. Put together an assortment of all the commonly used items you’re likely to need: paper, pens, pencils, markers, glue, scissors and a calculator. 4. Create a homework folder. Make it easier for your child to bring home the instructions they need and take their completed assignments back to school. Try a homework folder with one pocket each for incoming and outgoing paperwork. 5. Design a caddy. Make your homework station easily portable. Any receptacle big enough to hold all the items will work. You can use a laundry basket, plastic tub or whatever you have on hand. 6. Install a mirror. Positioning your child in front of a mirror may get better results. That way they can see when they’re working hard or hardly working and correct themselves. 7. Supply peaceful instrumental music. Some people focus better in complete silence and others prefer background sounds. Experiment with instrumental music if your child complains that it’s too quiet. A study done by Elana Goodwin has shown that listening to music before studying or performing a task can be beneficial as it improves attention, memory, and even your ability to do mental math as well as helping lessen depression and anxiety.” The researchers typically compare this to the Mozart Effect. For those who do not know, the Mozart Effect is a study that shows while listening to Mozart’s music one receives a short-term improvement in their capabilities. 8. Post written reminders. Another fabulous benefit of a homework station is that parents can post rules and deadlines. Think how much better you’ll all feel when you can stop nagging.
Using Your Homework Station
1. Discuss the importance of homework. Get your child involved in the process from the start by talking about the benefits of homework. Welcome their suggestions for how to work together. 2. Schedule dedicated homework time. Now that you have a place for homework, make time for it. Many families find that kids need a little downtime after school and before bed so consider some interval in between the two. 3. Break tasks down into chunks. It’s natural for kids to need one or more breaks during their homework sessions. Setting a kitchen timer makes it easy for them to see how much time they need to work before break-time. 4. Proceed gradually. Incremental goals will show your child that they’re making progress and motivate them to achieve more. Pick one or two areas for improvement at a time. 5. Present rewards. Teach your child that their actions have consequences. If they meet the goals you agree on, like completing assignments on time, pick a reward that is meaningful for them. You might bake their favorite cupcakes for dessert or plan a special weekend outing. 6. Encourage self monitoring. Of course, the ultimate goal is to guide kids towards regulating their own performance. As your child matures, you may feel confident that they will do their schoolwork responsibly in the privacy of their own bedroom. Homework is a challenge for many kids. Give them the resources to succeed by putting together a homework station that will help make learning more fun and productive.