Homework sessions, regardless of what we think, should never be synonymous with drudgery nor something we just want to get out of the way. But how to make this necessary task something enjoyable? You must first provide your child with the tools necessary to appreciate this homework period, and the first step is setting up an ideal workspace.
For grade school students, it is often preferable for the study periods to take place in close proximity to you. At this age, children are looking for more support and appreciate your presence while studying.
Use a kitchen table as a study space. You will also have the option to combine preparing supper with the homework session, which could save you time. Since the kitchen is already a functional area with good lighting and a lot of space, you will not have to make many adjustments to make it a place for studying. Also, with all that table space available, your child will be able to spread all those books out.
Establish calm surroundings. During homework sessions, it is essential that a quiet atmosphere be established. If there are a lot of comings and goings in the kitchen by other members of the family, it would be best to set up a rule for everyone to follow in order to keep the area quiet.
Plan a quick and efficient storing method. In order to be fully functional, all you need is a drawer, a basket, or a container of your choice reserved for school supplies (notebooks, pencils, papers, etc.) in order to make them more accessible and easier to store.
In high school, they need a little bit more privacy and they like to have their own space. To make your child a study space:
Favour a space where you child feels comfortable. At this age, the bedroom becomes a refuge and often becomes the best place to set up a study space.
Set up a writing table or a desk with drawers. This type of furniture gets the job done: they are made to be worked on! Setting up on a bed or sofa, that does not have an ideal working space, will have the opposite effect and your child will not stay concentrated on his or her homework for long. A desk must be big enough to spread out notebooks, books, and a pencil case.
Make sure there is enough light. Reading under weak light tires you out more quickly and isn’t good for your eyes. If possible, make sure the study space is near a window and set up a desk lamp that will be bright enough to see all the books clearly. The lamp should be to the left of right-handed person and to the right of a left-handed person.
Remove all sources of distraction. Even though students look for independence at adolescents, it is still important to continue keeping tabs on them. Make sure homework time is at a consistent time every night, with a specific start and end time. Also, you must make very clear that this time is for doing homework and nothing else: no television, no video games, no up-beat music, no Internet, and no cellphones will be allowed! Leave reference materials (dictionaries, grammar books, etc) close at hand: contrary to their electronic versions, they won’t bring about other sources of distraction!
Committing yourself to making the study period enjoyable, through setting up a study space or through better time management, will have a positive effect and will encourage you child to invest more of himself or herself. These good habits, instilled early, will serve your child in many aspects of his or her life and there’s a good chance that they will have positive impacts on your child’s academic success.