Healthy homework habits

Cultivating Healthy Homework Habits

We’ve all been there; coming home from a long day of school and extra-mural activities, only to have to be forced into doing hours of homework. It’s no fun, but it is an essential part of school for millions of children all over the world. Not only does this practice ensure that teachers and students are able to complete a syllabus on time, it also encourages children to work and apply knowledge independently. However, setting healthy homework habits is no easy task, as it requires keeping your little (and oftentimes, older) ones motivated, encouraged and determined. So, how do we foster a great working environment for our young ones, and how do we ensure that their homework is completed with care and within a reasonable time-frame?

Let them set the scene

One of the most important aspects of securing a workable homework routine is making your kids feel as though they have some control over the situation. Allow them to pick an area in your home (away from the distracting glare of the television) that they are able to sit at every day after school. This space doesn’t necessarily have to be a desk in their bedroom (unless that’s what they want) – the dining room table can work just as well. The important thing is to make sure that their homework space is comfortable and fully equipped with anything they may need to complete their tasks, such as highlighters, pens, notebooks and any other kind of stationery they use on a regular basis.

Choose a time and stick to it

Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a routine. Create a specific time for homework to start, as well as a landmark (which can be flexible, depending on the weight of their workload on any particular day) time for it to end. For example, if they get home from school at 3pm, let them have a snack, maybe change into some more comfortable clothes and then begin their homework promptly at 4pm. Depending on their age and how much homework they have, try and have them complete the work before dinnertime, giving your family some time to spend together, perhaps playing games or constructing a Tinkerer crate, without the dread of finishing homework looming in the background.

Encourage them to try on their own

As much as we want our children to succeed, it is very important for them to become independent in completing their homework tasks. Every now and then, check in and see if they are understanding their homework, or if they need help with anything. If they ask for help, my all means, help guide them to finding the correct answers. However, be careful not to do the work for them. It is both healthy and incredibly important to their education that they become fully capable of completing tasks on their own.

While no child is the same and different methods will work for different children, having some kind of structure in terms of setting, time and independence will go a long way in helping cultivate healthy homework habits from as early on as possible. These habits will help encourage a sense of discipline within your children and will save you from those dreaded “Have you finished your homework?” fights and frustrations.

Image credits:

Featured image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Photo by Lonely Planet on Unsplash