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The Importance of Homework

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1. The Benefits of Homework

Secondly, homework can come in the form of practice. This is a widely known concept and can be easily applied to math and science problems. However, the same concept may be translated to the arts. Practice is essential for becoming proficient at music or art. This concept can be easily conveyed to a child if they are required to compose a piece of music or create a painting in their free time for homework. Though practicing math problems may seem a simpler and more direct translation, the task remains the same: to reinforce what has been learned in the classroom and apply it. More importantly, the repetition that is done through practice is the key to forming a habit, and habits are what separate the successful from the unsuccessful. When good study habits are formed, grades will undoubtedly improve, leading to a more successful future. Accordingly, when bad study habits are formed, the only result is a downward slope. This is because the children who have learned to be responsible will constantly seek improvement while those who have not will falter. These cause and effect scenarios in regards to habits are the most important reasons to do homework and build study skills.

There are also many hidden advantages to homework, one of which is learning how to take responsibility for one’s own work. For children to improve, they must be willing to take their own risks, to push themselves and to persist through the difficult problems. Homework is the primer that children have in taking responsibility. Completing homework in the first place takes some amount of inner motivation that a student may not yet have. It also takes responsibility to get it done to the best of one’s ability. These are all important and beneficial character traits that are necessary in becoming a well-rounded and responsible citizen for society.

2. Strategies for Effective Homework Completion

Teachers can help students complete their homework through a variety of strategies. Ideally, students should have an organized notebook or binder. This makes it easy to write down homework assignments and be able to find old assignments. Students should also have a study area that is free of distractions and set aside a specific time to complete assignments, as the routine can be helpful. Some students benefit from breaking up assignments into smaller tasks. For example, a student can work for 20 minutes, take a 5-minute break, work for another 20 minutes, take another 5-minute break, and then finish the assignment. Having a specific goal can also be a good motivator. A student might tell himself that he can watch TV after finishing a specific task. Teachers may also send home specific instructions for assignments so parents understand how to help. Sometimes parents’ support can motivate students to complete assignments. If a student is struggling to complete an assignment and there is a nagging feeling that it is not a good use of time, the student can weigh the costs and benefits. This means thinking about what will be gained from the assignment and considering how terrible it would be to receive a failing grade. There are several strategies students can use to increase their homework completion rates. One way is to use an assignment notebook. This can help a student keep track of all assignments in one place. Another strategy that works well with older students is to use a planner. Having a planner is particularly useful for long-term assignments such as projects. These students can plan to work a little on the project each day so it is not so overwhelming. A similar strategy is to use a calendar that can help students plan ahead. Students can learn to jot down the dates assignments are due on the calendar and plan how to schedule time to complete each assignment. An effective yet simple strategy is to use a watch or timer to help students pay attention to time when completing an assignment. Researchers have found that giving students a specific goal can increase task performance. This means that if a student has another activity planned for a specific time, they are more likely to finish their assignment prior to the activity. An easy way to increase the goal value of an assignment is to have the student imagine the specific benefits of completing the assignment. Parents can also try some general strategies to help increase homework completion. One strategy that has been found to be effective is a parent-child contract. This could be a simple agreement that the child will complete all assignments before going out to play with friends. If the child sticks to the agreement, the parent can reward the child with a desired activity. Yet another strategy that has shown some success is behavior modification. This can be done using a token system or point system where the child earns points for completing tasks that can later be traded in for a reward. For behavior modification to work, a desired behavior needs to be targeted and there needs to be some consistency of the reward. A final strategy that may work well with lower elementary students is to increase supervision of homework time, but parents should be careful not to do the assignments for the child.

3. Overcoming Homework Challenges

Try to schedule homework for the same time each day. This helps establish homework as part of a routine. Once the habit is established, homework is not so overwhelming a task. Lack of a proper homework environment is a problem. Very few students like to do homework in the public areas of the house. Most students need a small amount of space where they can concentrate without interruptions. Others need to be able to move around and work in different areas. Your personal approach is important. Before starting on an assignment, it is essential to know your own approach to learning. Do you work better with or without music? Do you need frequent breaks? It is important to cater to your own personal learning style in order to be successful. Once you have found your perfect homework formula, it is vital to stick with it. A sudden change in approach will disrupt and distract you from the task at hand. Sometimes homework is just too challenging to get through. Make sure you attempt your homework as soon as it is assigned. This way the information is fresh in your mind and if you get stuck, the teacher is still available to help. It is important to stay updated with homework as falling behind can make things seem unmanageable. If the difficulty is due to a lack of understanding the material, consolidate the help of a teacher, parent, or an educated peer.

4. Creating a Productive Homework Environment

Key 2 – Make sure lighting is adequate and that school supplies and materials are organized, on hand, and easily accessible. A portable homework caddy can help in keeping all materials in one spot. Reading and writing assignments might require extra lighting or a lamp.

Key 1 – Choose a special place for doing homework. The best place to do homework is at a desk in an office chair. This is because this location and type of seating provide the right balance of comfort and focus. Homework should not be done in a bed or on the floor in a child’s bedroom. It is important to establish the practice of homework being done in a consistent place; this helps with the formation of a routine.

Establishing a productive homework environment is critical. Factors that help in creating such an environment include a quiet and private space, uninterrupted time, and all the necessary materials. Regardless of age, children are more likely to complete homework assignments to a standard of excellence if they are able to get them done in an environment that is relaxing and not distracting. Following these guidelines can also help children with LDs to complete homework to the best of their ability. They will work more independently, which will lead to an increase in their self-esteem and a greater chance of academic success.

5. Encouraging a Positive Attitude towards Homework

Establish a routine: It is difficult to maintain a positive attitude to homework if the experience is always disorganized and rushed. A well-lit, quiet place to work with the necessary supplies at hand is a prerequisite for good study. Schedule a regular study time to coincide with the completion of the most difficult work. Some students work best in the afternoon while others prefer to get the most difficult tasks over with at night. If a student is really dreading a specific assignment and it is possible, it may be best for them to get a more agreeable task done first and save the tough assignment for a time when they will be most ready to tackle it.

Change negative social attitudes: Many students acquire a negative attitude towards homework from the influence of others (e.g. older siblings or parents) who have a distaste for specific subjects or assignments. Some children pick up habits from television in which characters did everything perfectly without effort. It is important to explain the value of the task and how it will help the student to better understand the material. This could ultimately result in higher grades and a feeling of empowerment from having surmounted a tough task.

Exchange ideas with teachers: Pointing out the benefits of assignments and encouraging teachers to give comments on a first draft are ways to get the ball rolling. If a teacher knows that you are genuinely interested in their work and are not simply completing it as a means to an end, they will be more inclined to provide useful feedback. If little information is provided in the form of comments, a student should ask the teacher for a follow-up assignment or oral discussion. This demonstrates that the student is taking an active role in learning the material and is not simply trying to get it over with.

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