by Stacey Ool
Raising the Grade Program Coordinator
“Do you have homework?… No really do you have homework?!”
Is this a familiar question asked nightly in your household? Besides talking about eating vegetables or going to bed on time, is there another topic that is as anxiety or conflict ridden as completing homework?
Staying on top of homework is, of course, a very important means to achieving academic success. Some students have no problem completing their homework or studying for a test, while others believe it is next to impossible after a long day of being in the classroom. As influential individuals in children and youth’s lives, how can we help them complete their homework and develop productive study habits, which will remain with them in the future?
Definitely not an easy feat!
Here in the Rogers Raising the Grade Program, the majority of the time that we spend working with students involves supporting them not only to stay on top of their homework, but to develop the time management, organization, goal setting and study skills that they require to reach high graduation and be able to move onto productive post-secondary paths of their choosing.
Here are some tips and resources that I hope will help you support students who are struggling to complete their homework and develop those oh so important study skills:
- Explore why they are struggling. Are they being distracted in class? Do they need their teacher to explain the material in a different way? Can they see the board?
- Help them figure out which learning style/teaching approach works best for them. Once you have this information, it is very powerful in terms of explaining concepts effectively. Give this quiz a try.
- Create a distraction free, homework only zone.
- Establish an after school homework schedule at the start of the year, this may be daily or every other day. Even if work is not given in class make sure to have backup work/goals to make this time productive and stay in the routine.
- Encourage the use of an agenda to stay on top of assignments as there is nothing worse than hearing that there is a massive assignment due tomorrow, worth a huge chunk of a final mark. Goodbye sleep!
- Encourage study breaks and create an incentive system for a job well done.
- In the event that you are not comfortable with the homework that you are being asked to help with, be honest and say, “this is not my speciality but let’s figure this out together”, instead of running for the hills. The Khan Academy is an excellent resource with step-by-step videos teaching math, science, economics, arts, humanities and computing subjects. For free live online math help for grades 7-10, check out this site.
Good luck and happy homework times!