Homework can be viewed in two different ways: a useful tool, or a waste of time. No matter how wonderful homework is, the benefits will only be realized if information is properly digested. To prevent wasted time, there are a several things you can do to make homework useful. Here are 10 ways in which homework time can be made productive.
Immediately before beginning homework, it is wise to confirm what is expected. If the material is worksheet related, read the instructions and headings. If the assignment is an essay, read the required elements. Work should only begin once expectations are perfectly clear.
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Work in Pairs
Many people learn better in small groups. By completing homework with someone that has the same aptitude for a particular subject, joint learning takes place. The saying, “Two heads work better than one” comes to mind.
Quiz One Another
Working with a partner has many advantages. Another advantage is the ability to quiz each other on homework questions. In fact, the individual asking questions tends to learn just as much as the one answering.
Make Homework the Same Time Each Day
Homework should be done at the same time each and every day. This gets the mind and body into a routine. Once a routine is established, the brain will automatically be ready to soak up information. If there are no assignments for the day, take the time to review material.
Provide A Snack
The brain needs food to thrive. Feeding your body before you do homework ensures an alert brain that isn’t preoccupied by a hungry stomach. Of course healthy snacks are better than sugar filled treats.
Positive Homework Feedback
The best way to help a child improve is to use encouraging feedback. For example, if she answers a worksheet question incorrectly, don’t just tell her she is wrong. Let her know what she did right, and why she came to the wrong conclusion.
Recreational Time Before Homework
School is 6 or 7 straight hours of learning. Children need to give their brains a break after school hours. Homework should not begin immediately after the last class of the day. Instead, let your child play or relax before really digging into study material.
Take Periodic Homework Breaks
As students get older, homework tends to take up more and more time. The brain functions best when it is given 10 or 15 minute breaks every hour. This ensures information is absorbed and not forgotten once the head hits the pillow at night.
Homework Help Availability
When a child has a homework question, the best time to get an answer is immediately. More information is stored if problems are answered and corrected as soon as they arise. Make sure your child or student has someone available for questions during homework hours. This can be a parent, teacher, sibling, or tutor.
After homework is completed, it is important to review the finished product. Check worksheet answers, review essays, make sure all questions have a response. Success is in the details.