As a parent, it’s mission-critical: teaching your child good study habits in order to do well in school, and then in life. Televisions and cellphones are a normal part of a child’s life in 2017, but they can destroy his/her ability to concentrate. Here at The Kovacs Connection we put together a few tips to make homework more effective in less time!
Eliminate the Distractions
You know the feeling: you walk into a coffee shop with your laptop and plan on answering a few emails, and the person at the table next to you is nonstop chatty. It’s tough to concentrate on two things at once for an adult: much more so a growing child. Do your kids a favor and create an area away from the TV.
The kitchen table can be a great spot to spread out their books and papers, and as difficult as it can be, the cell phone needs to be put away during homework time. As the parent, you need to model this for them as well. Older students may push for a TV in their bedroom, but resist the urge: it’s easier to study in their rooms without the TV distracting them.
A computer is a ‘necessary evil’ because so many homework assignments are found online. Make sure you check in with your child to see that the work is getting done, rather than browsing social media sites when they should be studying. There are a few software options to help parents limit internet distraction:
- Self-Control for Macs: blocks a list of websites during study time
- Cold Turkey for Windows
- Stay Focused for Chrome Browsers
- Leech Block for Firefox
Let There Be Light
Be sure there is plenty of light on the subject matter at hand. Overhead lights, lamps, windows can all help keep your child focused and awake.
Good Study Habits: We’re in This Together
It’s tough for children to concentrate while you are within earshot watching TV. While they are studying, finish up your work for the day. Maybe it’s laundry, writing lists, paying bills. You are modeling focused attention to a task, which will pay dividends in their future.
Set a Consistent Study Schedule When Possible
A lot of parents find providing a snack and a half hour of decompression after school can reset the ability to concentrate and focus. Extracurricular activities can alter the plan, but a focused hour of homework after school, and if needed, an hour after dinner can do the trick.
Write it Down
It’s been well-documented that people who write things down are more likely to remember them. You and your child should pick out a planner and calendar, and when they are old enough, have them write assignments down in the planner in order to take ownership of them and remember them.
Often, students come home with weekly folders that contain the assignments for the following week. Work with them to write them in their planners so there is a visual reminder of what’s coming up! Be sure and include vacations and holidays to keep them motivated!
Remember the Buddy System
Ask your child if they have a buddy who helps them with Math, or English, etc. Encourage them to get together to work through the material, quizzing each other in advance of tests. Just make sure you check in on them every now and then to make sure they are staying on task!