Is homework giving you headaches? Is study time stressing you out? If so, you and your child may be in need of a little homework first aid. Read and follow these prescriptions for fast relief.
Environment – Create a calm, quiet, and comfortable environment for your child to study. The ideal location would be a special place set aside for studying only. Preferably not near a window, TV, or other visual distractions. Locate necessary supplies like pencils, pencil sharpeners, paper, dictionary, flash cards, calculator, calendar, etc. within arm’s reach of the study area. Sitting on a yoga ball may benefit active kids by allowing them to move.
Preparation – Try to have your child study at the same time every day so the work becomes routine and habitual. This could be right after school, or after some play time. Make sure it is a time when your child still has energy. Schedule a snack and bathroom break just before settling in to study.
Priorities – Work on the hardest project first. You know your child’s strengths and weaknesses and can use this to your advantage by doing the difficult work when your child has the most energy. Make sure to praise real effort along the way. Use a calendar to keep track of large projects and tests. This will help you plan the best use of your study time. Create a to-do list on a small white board and let your child erase each activity as you complete it.
Methods – Study methods will depend upon your child’s age and the type of material being learned. Some tried and true study methods include using manipulatives, using flashcards, highlighting important material, creating a graphic organizer, reading aloud, turning information into a rap or song, playing a game with your material, creating simulations, generating a mnemonic, and reteaching the material to someone else.
Breaks – Depending on your child’s age and study load, you may want to schedule some ‘brain breaks’ every 10-20 minutes. Brain breaks are 1-3 minutes of physical activity designed to help your child reenergize and regain focus. A brain break could include dancing, jumping, running, or anything you can think of that’s fun and gets the body moving.
Dosage: Be sure to take all 5 prescriptions in a caring environment daily.
Side effects may include (but are not limited to): happy, calm, smart, loving, generous, and beautiful children.