For families with school-age kids, this is the time of year for readjusting to schedules and deadlines. Along with all of the positive aspects of the “back to school” season, most parents agree that one of the main stress points is homework.
It is important to set students up for success and reduce the frustration that parents often face when dealing with studying, projects and daily assignments.
By creating a homework space, many obstacles to success can be instantly removed.
Here are our tips to help:
1. Be sure your child’s study area is free of distracting clutter. A visually calming environment and clear work surface aids in concentrating and organizing.
2. Provide plenty of paper and other supplies they may need for their tasks.
3. Most students require a computer, so arrange the study area for the screen to be visible to supervising adults.
4. Use a timer in the new study area to set short spans of work time with breaks.
5. After a long day in school, free time to stretch and relax is important.
6. A whiteboard or large calendar can be helpful to record upcoming tests and project due dates (avoid those late night, last minute scrambles).
7. Some kids like a bit of background noise so they don’t feel too isolated, but turn off the television so they are not overly distracted.
8. Another important feature of a good study space is adequate lighting.
9. If you have several kids sharing a desk area, you can build partitions for them to have designated workspace.
10. If the kitchen bar or table is used for homework, consider a rolling cart to store supplies, or even several baskets so things can be cleared away but remain organized.
Our final tip is one of my favorites – consider essential oils in a diffuser; many have found peppermint helps to spark alertness.
Taking the time to thoughtfully design a work zone will help your kids take school more seriously and will help you feel less frustrated. Hopefully, these suggestions will make homework less of a dreaded task, for your kids and for you!