Homework can turn into a nightmare, and it can be very difficult to maintain a zen attitude! Is it possible to preserve family harmony during homework sessions? We believe the answer is yes! Here are various tips and ideas to remain zen with homework.
Dedicated Homework Periods
Some families choose to complete homework and lessons in the morning when everyone is recharged, fresh and ready to work. This is a great idea though not all families have their mornings free. If homework needs to be completed when returning home from school, allow for a timeout period to move and refuel with a healthy snack or meal. Young people need some time to decompress, let off some steam and refill their energy before getting back down to work.
Homework and projects do not necessarily need to be completed at home. Why not discuss the lesson on the morning drive while in a good mood? Tackling as much work as possible while at school can lighten the workload at home. If disciplined enough, students can get ahead on some work during their school breaks or while waiting for the bus.
An Adaptive Routine
Establishing a fixed but flexible routine encourages students to predict and prepare for both predictable and unpredictable events throughout the week. In order to foster a student’s autonomy, a written schedule can help encourage healthy work habits. With expectations clearly identified and the schedule visible and posted in the study space, it should become easier to follow and respect the homework process. Make this process positive, adaptive and collaborative. It will certainly become a great organizational tool for the whole family!
When establishing a routine, the family’s reality should be considered: a parents’ schedule, extra curricular activities, daily responsibilities, preferred study periods and access to helpful external resources (grand parents, tutors, friends etc). Once a routine is established, it is important to then consider how to adapt to the needs of any given situation.
Is concentration difficult during study periods? Take a short 5 minute break. A snack might also be a solution; the brain needs energy to concentrate after all. Is studying still difficult despite taking a break? This would be a great opportunity to learn that it isn’t always necessary to be at 110% and push limits during study periods. That tomorrow will be a better day. If you think that this isn’t the case, you might try to identify the source of the problem and seek the support of a professional educator.
Planning is a Skill
If students have one shortcoming, it would certainly be in the area of planning and organization of their work. Rarely do students have an opportunity, or the awareness, to practice and master this particular skill. In order to be ready and prepared, and even in a positive state of mind for homework sessions, they need help organizing their work. This is an incredibly important life skill for which they will be eternally grateful (likely sometime in the future!).
You can begin by listing all the work that needs to be done including projects, homework and study material. The next step can be evaluating how much time it might take to accomplish these tasks, and creating a timetable that takes into account any familial responsibilities. Students can quickly gain a sense of autonomy from this process and eventually plan their work independently.
Have you ever noticed that we learn best when having fun? Try it out! We retain more information while we are enjoying ourselves. There is nothing better than transforming an ordinary exercise into something entertaining. Laughter and fun can become a shield against those inevitably challenging moments.
Get moving: Remembering a lesson by dancing to the rhythm of your favorite song, or exercising, and even maintaining your balance on an exercise ball or the heels of your feet, are excellent ways to compliment study and learning.
Use boardgames: A Scrabble game is great when trying to practice vocabulary, and Yahtzee can be a great game to play when practicing multiplication tables. These are just two examples of countless other options!
Be creative: Use colors, crayons or manipulatives so that notions and lessons covered might be retained easier due to a more interesting visual medium.
Refer to Online Resources: Allô prof, among others, have online games and lessons that can make understanding challenging lessons easier to understand.
Collaborate with colleagues: Working with friends and classmates can provide new studying strategies and can really break a routine. Of course, it might be a good idea to make sure the session doesn’t turn into a party!
Don’t hesitate to get help
School Success can alleviate the stress associated with school work. We are here to help!
There are innumerable strategies to help maintain your zen attitude during homework periods! If you are interested in learning more, our blog has other tips and ideas you might find valuable in your quest for self improvement.
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