E - Emphasize Working Smarter, Not Harder, Part II
In my last blog post, I asked some questions that address “smart” strategies for success with homework, classwork, and studying for tests and quizzes. If the answer to any of those questions was, “I have no idea!” read on for some great ideas.
Try these WORKING SMARTER strategies for organizing homework:
- Having a predetermined method for capturing assignments, and materials needed to accomplish the homework, is a good first step, but often not enough. “Read/Q’s” written in the planner is not all that helpful for the student, or for the parent who is trying to help. Being brief but specific is important. Writing “Read Section 2, answer Q’s pg 97” provides more information. Assignments can be recorded in a school planner, a uniquely designed planner that better suits the student’s preferences, an electronic option (homework apps for smartphone, iPad, or an android phone or tablet), software on a laptop (OneNote or Notebook), or a hybrid of these options. The important thing is to truly understand what works best for the child.
- Homework space should be well-defined, clutter-free, and have needed supplies close at hand. Jumping up to find markers or colored pencils is a time waster. Establishing the workspace and “get down to business” time creates much-needed structure. Finding a structure that externalizes reminders can help with routine building. Consistency is crucial, even down to rewarding the act of putting finished homework in the appropriate folder, and stowing all in the backpack (which is placed by the door, ready for launch the next morning).
- As discussed in a previous post, organizing which homework will require more “mental energy,” and completing it first will ensure your child doesn’t wear out before she has completed all of her homework. It is helpful to literally lay out all of the homework, with all materials needed to complete it, and put a sticky note on what will be accomplished first, second, third. This also allows for natural and very necessary breaks in the homework routine.
In my next post, I’ll review WORKING SMARTER strategies for studying.
Blogger Barbara Hunter, MEd, shares her expertise in the use of technology to support learning.