From the Desk of Mrs. Cindy McGowan

As we begin the second half of our academic year, I wanted to share with you some homework tips from my friend, Marcella Moran. Marcella is also known as The Kid Organizer (thekidorganizer.com). I have adapted this post from an article written in her blog.

One of the most important (let’s face it, they’re all important) aspects of the daily grind for kids is homework. Many parents will note how difficult homework can be in their house. Whether it’s the child who procrastinates, the disorganized work area, or the child who misplaces everything, homework can be a challenge. Here are some tips for parents to help their children stay organized while doing homework. My own children (now in high school and college) benefit from #5.

  • Establish a homework zone. Many young children like to be near an adult (usually a parent) when doing their homework so they can quickly have questions answered. For many this spot may be at the kitchen or dining room table.
  • Set up the homework zone. Each child should have a portable school supplies box to include loose leaf, art supplies, and anything else needed to complete homework. This box should allow for easy access for your child. That means no boxes that the lids can come off. If you have another child who is using the same homework zone, you might want to think about dividers. This is a great privacy shield for the kids who squabble with each other.
  • Sounds and noises – Some children are sensitive to noise, especially the voices of their siblings. Using headphones with either soft music or white noise can be productive in reducing distractions of others.
  • Internet use – For many students, social media and gaming sites can be an incredible distraction to older students who may need the internet for homework. There are ways to block social media for a few hours – check with your internet provider.
  • File box for those exploding binders and folders. Buy a portable file box without a top for easy access. Since the box is portable, it can move from room to room with your child. Insert hanging file folders for each subject. Once every few weeks, your child should go through his folders and remove papers that are from past topics or just doesn’t need any more. DO NOT throw these papers out, but store them until midterms and final exams.
  • There are many different ways of setting up reminders. If your child is tech savvy, have her use an app on her phone for reminders. Post it calendars are great tools for reminders for the kids who are more tactile and visual. Another great reminder technique for students who are more visual and tactile, is to write down every task (homework) on a separate post it. Display the post at eye level to give a clear view to your child what tasks she needs to accomplish that day. When the task is completed, your child should remove the corresponding post it and throw it away.

Helping your child develop positive homework strategies will assure that the school work will get done. Make sure that your child feels comfortable in his work area and that you remain supportive in maintaining positive homework strategies. I think this may help alleviate those homework issues!