Homework tips: Develop good study habits

It is hard to believe the new school year is almost here with the joys of purchasing new school supplies.  Teachers, parents, and students are adjusting to the new school schedules after a busy summer.  The buildings and teachers and even some of the subjects have changed since parents were in school themselves.  But one thing is still the same: homework.  Some school kids "thrive" on doing homework; they think it's fun. Others, however, have a tougher time.

When homework becomes a chore, here are some suggestions for parents to help their child develop good study habits:

• Develop a positive attitude about helping the child.  Let the child become your teacher at home.  Doing homework together is an opportunity for the parent to continue expressing the care and affection they have for the child. Plus, kids still like showing off what they're learning to mom and dad.

• Develop a routine for when homework is done.  Some kids may need to play for a while when they get home; others want to do their homework right away so they'll have free time later. Either way is fine, but parents must encourage consistency regarding the time that children are expected to do their homework.

• Choose a place that is quiet and free from distractions such as TV, radio, and other family activities, if possible. Make sure there is good lighting. Provide a desk or table with a comfortable chair for your child. The kitchen table will work if other family members agree to stay out of the room during study time.

• Store needed items such as pencils, pencil sharpener, glue, erasers, markers, scissors, and paper near the study area. It is easier and faster to do an assignment when everything is at hand. A basket or shoe box can be decorated to store these items.

While homework is part of the total school experience, it's a smaller part of life. When parents believe that their child is bringing home too much work from school, they need to take their concerns to the teacher.  Other activities in the child's life are important, too. And a child's relationship with his or her family is important.

For more information about the 4-H and Youth Development, please contact the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office in your local county.  4-H learning is open to all youth.  Make Nebraska 4-H your first college experience with UNL. Nebraska 4-H Grows Here.

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