The school year is now in full swing and for most students, that means homework is being assigned. If handled carefully, this can be a time for learning and discussion, and not a time for fighting and procrastinating.
First and foremost, it is important to create a routine around when, where and how homework is completed.
For students involved in extracurricular activities, the when may not be negotiable. But many students have a choice between completing homework as soon as they arrive home and after dinner. The choice becomes a practical one if the homework takes more time than is available either before or after dinner, but a personal one if there is enough time. Personally, I prefer that my children have some relaxation time before they go to sleep. When they start their homework is not as important to me as much as that they finish early enough to relax and spend some family time before bed. Either choice is fine if it works for your family, but it makes for fewer arguments if there is a set time.
The where can also be flexible based on the space available in your home, with one exception--it is not a good idea to do homework in bed. Many students prefer to study on their beds because the bedroom, and more specifically the bed, is comfortable and often more private and quiet than a kitchen table or desk. However, the comfortable position and location often encourages relaxation and sleep more than concentration and focus.
Managing how homework assignments are completed is all about controlling distractions. The average student cannot study with music blaring, or while texting friends and surfing the web. Studying should be done in a quiet room with few distractions. The kitchen table or a desk are typically the best places to spread out work and concentrate on the task at hand. Working near a parent or older sibling who can help and answer questions can also be a plus.
Need more homework help? For students in the there are options for extra help available in school and online.
At extra help is available after school in English and math. Open tutoring sessions are available Monday through Thursday from 3 to 4pm. The tutoring is free and is run by the English and math teachers, and offers students a wonderful opportunity to get extra help with their classes.
At teachers are available to work with students after the regular school day ends at 2:25pm. These students can take the elementary bus home when they are finished with tutoring, making it a convenient option for parents who can‘t make it to the school by 3pm to pick up their child. At the middle school some books are also available online, along with extra tutorials.
At teachers are available after school to offer extra help to students as needed.
Another important routine involves parents knowing when their child has homework, so monitoring of assignment completion and progress can occur in a timely manner. In the Saucon Valley School District, students in all levels are given a student handbook at the beginning of the year. This is a helpful resource students can and should use to track their assignments. Parents can help their children remember what is due by checking the assignment book on a regular basis.
For further checks on a child’s progress, teachers regularly send home grade reports. For students at Saucon Valley Middle School and Saucon Valley High School, PowerSchool is also available. This is a wonderful online resource parents can use to check their child’s grades and attendance on a regular basis. By checking grades, parents and students can catch missed assignments and low grades before it is too late to make up work and improve grades.
However your family chooses to tackle homework, finding the right routine for your child can yield huge payoffs.