Establishing good homework habits is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your child has a successful school year.
As the new school year approaches, we buy them the latest clothing trends, purchase all items on their school list, and take them to get pretty haircuts.
But are we equipping them with what they need for a successful school year?
Along with other important things, such as a good school morning routine and proper nutrition, good homework habits are essential to help your child thrive in school.
Next, we will review 5 simple homework habit tips you can implement throughout the school year to help your child prosper.
5 Great Homework Habits for Kids
1. Fuel the brain
Before sitting down to do homework, have your child eat a healthy snack.
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to focus when hungry.
Include “eating a snack” on your after-school schedule so your child knows to grab a bite before doing homework.
You’ll likely feel moody and irritable if your brain isn’t properly fueled. The same is true for kids. Lack of brain fuel might also lead to trouble sleeping, poor memory, and difficulty problem-solving. (Source)
That is why it is a good idea to encourage your child to start their homework routine with a brain-fueling snack.
Brain food for studying include:
- Protein: meat, fish, eggs, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds, and dairy
- Antioxidants: fruits (berries) and veggies
- Omega-3: oily fish, flax seeds and flax oil, and eggs, chicken and beef
- Monounsaturated fats: avocados, nuts, olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil
Easy pre-homework snack ideas include:
- Apples and peanut butter
- Mixed berry salad and a boiled egg
- An avocado toast
- Yogurt with a walnut and dried cranberry mix
2. Designate a homework space
A designated homework space is another important aspect of developing good homework habits.
Routines and organization give children a sense of order, control, and expectancy, which combats anxiety and frustration.
Knowing ahead of time where they will do homework and when eliminates frustration and negative anticipation towards doing the tasks at hand.
Great homework places are elevated, allowing them to have a good posture while writing, coloring, and/or reading.
Therefore, a desk makes the best homework area since most desks are adjustable to every child’s height.
You can opt for a children’s desk for more precision and convenience, like this Guidecraft Children’s Media Desk and Chair Set.
- Ease of assembly
- Strong smell that eventually goes away
Or you can opt for something more versatile that could easily transform into a beautiful furniture piece once your child has finished his/her homework. Add a vase with flowers and a picture frame, and you’re done.
Two beautiful options are:
Another good place is the dining room table. It offers ample space for your child to spread his school supplies and get organized.
Related Article: 10 Clever Ways to Store and Organize Kids Books
3. All Supplies at hand
Regarding homework organization, it is important to ensure our children have all the school supplies they need.
That eliminates distractions and cuts the homework time by half. Once again, a desk is a great place to keep all the homework supplies.
But if you don’t have a desk, don’t worry.
There are plenty of alternatives to ensure your child has all the supplies at hand to complete his/her assignments.
Here are a few great options to help your child keep organized and easily clean up afterward:
- Learning Resources Create-a-Space Storage Center
- 10-Drawer Organizer Cart
- SimpleHouseware Desk Organizer
4. Eliminate Distractions
Phones ringing, TV on, the radio playing, the iPad, the dog barking, other siblings… yes, that’s life, but they are all things that interfere with your child’s concentration efforts.
One of the best homework habits is to create as much of a homework-friendly environment as possible.
Help your child gain and retain his concentration by doing all (or some) of the following:
- Turn the TV off
- Lower the radio
- Instruct other children to play elsewhere
- Put all phones on vibrate
- Ensure computers and tablets are ONLY being used for homework purposes
It is also important to mention that not all children learn or concentrate the same way.
Not everyone concentrates best in total silence.
When I was younger, and even today, I enjoy some background noise as I work on articles and other tasks. Jazz music or the faint sound of the TV in the background helps set a better work mood for me.
As you work on these good, daily homework habits with your child, please pay attention to his/her cues to see what works best for them and what doesn’t. That will ensure you optimize their homework routine.
5. Use a Timer
Using a timer might sound a bit, well… military.
But it is a great homework hack, especially for parents of young children.
Although some kids get distracted more than others, period.
That is why it is important to keep them motivated and engaged with the task at hand.
One of the best ways to do that is to set a timer.
Depending on your child’s age, grade, and homework load, setting a timer ensures they are working at a good pace. And if your child is anything like mine, he/she will love to “beat the clock.”
Another benefit of a timer is to help them set a good rhythm for finishing their schoolwork.
While in school, they are only given a certain amount of time to complete classwork. If they fail to do so, it can result in a lower grade or an “incomplete.”
The timer is not meant to make them feel rushed or anxious. So, set a realistic time frame according to their workload and age.
A good rule of thumb is 20-30 minutes for younger and 45 for older children.
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- Chores List for Kids of All Ages (+ Rewards and Allowance Suggestions)
Children are not born knowing; most of all, their habits, good and bad, are acquired by what they learn from us (directly or indirectly).
Along with good before and after school routines, helping our children establish good homework habits early on will be critical to their life-long school success.
By implementing present parenting, being involved, and assisting them in developing good homework habits, your children will be on their way to many happy and healthy school years.
What good homework habits did your parents teach you?
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