Smart School Habits

The new school year is both an exciting and challenging time for all families.

Although this month will bring about a new and perhaps unfamiliar set of activities, experiences, and bedtimes, one thing is for certain; your kids will be receiving homework. To ensure the upcoming assignments don’t overwhelm you and your children, consider now to be the best time to get your family on track and organized by creating a homework schedule.

Alicia on ‘The Right Spot’

‘Just as you probably have your own favorite place to get your work done, so should your child. My family used to complete homework assignments in any old place, whether it be the kitchen table or the living room floor. This often created confusion and clutter when it would time to clear the table for dinner or if we needed the living room for other activities. Since then, I have made sure that every family member has their own designated work space, such as a desk in their room or a table in the basement. By creating a proper space for each family member, it helps keep everyone focused on the tasks at hand without any unnecessary interruption.’

Sarah on ‘Leaving It Until the Last Minute’

‘Nothing is worse than waiting until the end of the day to complete homework assignments. By that time, our minds and bodies are tired from the days’ activities and we often are at our least productive. To ensure homework does not get left until the last minute, I often implement a work before play rule. By getting homework done sooner than later, it ensures that we still have the proper energy needed to tackle our assignments and still have enough time leftover for a fun and carefree evening!’

Here are three tips to keep in mind as you set up an effective homework schedule for your family.

#1: The Big Picture
Even though kids usually have a school-assigned homework planner to write down their assignments, also having one master chart can be a great component in an effective homework schedule. Purchase a small white board and write down names in the left hand column and subjects on the top. Make sure to leave a column at the end for long term projects, so your kids can be reminded of future assignments. Once your kids come home from school, have them write down all their homework assignments on the white board chart. As they complete their work, cross off each assignment. At the end of the day, being able to see the big picture will leave them, and you, with a great sense of accomplishment!

#2: All Together Now
Try and schedule a particular time in the day that everyone in your family can devote to homework. During this time, make sure to turn off cell phones, televisions, and other distractions. If you have younger children who do not have homework yet, encourage them to partake in a quiet activity such as an art project or going through a children’s magazine. By having your whole family working at the same time, you will create a productive atmosphere that will definitely help your children complete their assignments.

#3: Spend It Wisely
Once you have set up a common homework time for your family, make sure to use this time to your advantage! While your kids are busy completing their homework, use the time to complete the projects and assignments that you’ve been putting off during the day such as paying bills or catching up on paperwork. That way, when both you and your children are done with your respective assignments, you have the remainder of the evening to spend together and enjoy!