Help with homework

With the school term well underway, it’s once again time to tackle homework. So how do you help your teen work productively?

There’s not a lot of time for much else at the end of the school day after everyone has done their flute lesson, water polo training, rugby, tennis, drama classes, etc, etc. However, it is important for children to have down time to relax after a full day of concentrating at school and being active with after school activities. They also need to eat a healthy snack, especially when they are growing, before sitting down to tackle their studies.

Once they’re at their desk, they need to be focused on the task at hand. Whilst the distractions of mobile phones, iPods, facebook, Xbox, Play Station, Wii, Foxtel (and the list goes on) are tempting, it is a smart idea  during the week to hide these distractions so the focus is on study. As a reward when they finish their homework or need a break, perhaps then suggest 15 minutes of Facebook time.

Experts recommend providing a quiet desk or computer screen so teens can concentrate, an uncluttered desk, a table that’s well lit and a chair that is firm with a supportive back. Research suggests that a teenager’s attention span suits study on one subject for forty five minutes followed by a 15 minute break. That’s useful advice when teens start high school, but as the workload continues so will the hours! For a younger teen with a shorther attention span, 30 minutes of concentration is recommended followed by a 10 minute break.

A lot of teens like to study with music on. Research by the University of Cardiff confirmed what most parents have suspected all along. Music hinders a student’s ability to memorise information.

In an ideal world, these conditions would flow like clockwork, however as every parent knows, each child is different, every day is different and every household operates differently. Really, what matters is that each child is encouraged to be self motivated and self disciplined to get their homework done on time however that is best achieved.

Finally, for a successful night of study it is also up to the rest of the household to respect the teenager’s need for peace and quiet.

Good luck with that and we’d love you to share any successful study tips with us!


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