Homework Help~Structuring Homework Time
There is not a “One Size Fits All” model for how to create a structured homework center for students. There are, however, some basic steps that parents can take to make sure they set their kids up for success during homework time or any educational support times in their home. All of the following homework help suggestions can be modified for different age levels and learning styles.
Set Up a Homework Station
When I am working with families who are finding homework time to be a challenge, one of the first steps a parent can take is to create a work station or environment for the student to work in. This is the area that the student will sit at during times where they are expected to complete work.
The location can depend on your schedule, home layout, after-school activities, etc. I have seen areas work for one student and not another, so there may need to be a trial and error period with this. One of the most common spots is at a desk inside the home. I am currently using a portion of my kitchen table. Regardless of your situation, there is always a way to find a “spot” for your child to get some work done.
– Do your kids go to an after-school program? Ask the instructors for suggestions. I had a parent who worked at a daycare ask me for help with her older child who came to the center after school. We found time in the schedule and a spot in the center for him to work without distractions.
– Are you busy after school with sports/clubs/lessons? Find a time frame and location where ever you are. One dancer I worked with used a back dressing room area during her 30-minute break between classes.
– Is your child home with you all day, but the transition into quiet seatwork is not as smooth as you would like? Time to shake up your routine (or create one) to include some independent learning time.
As parents, we have to be flexible! No matter how structured I make our homework time, there will always be those events that I didn’t plan for. Instead of throwing my plans out the window, I’ve adapted our homework area to transition with us if needed, by creating a mobile homework tub.
Our Homework Tub
My kindergartener & 1st grader use our homework tub daily. It includes all of the supplies they generally use to complete homework and the supplemental materials I give them each day. Not pictured is the smaller tub of crayons that goes inside the tub.
This tub is always sitting at their homework time location in our house, and all I have to do is clip the top on it if I need to move our homework station for that day.
My Parent Basket
As a parent, I need to be organized and prepared. My daughters are always coming home with papers from school. Some I need to return, some I need to keep as reminders, and others I need to keep so that I know what is going on at the school, so I created a parent basket to organize these materials.
I have separate folders for different needs. One folder is for teacher notes that come home about what is going on at the school. Another folder has any important tests and assessment rubrics that the school has sent home about my student. I also have a folder for supplemental lessons that I would like to work on with my students.
I keep any workbooks that I like to use in the back. The clock in the front was something my daughter brought home after her time unit. I kept it so that I could continue to work on this concept with both students.
This is any easy way to keep everything that I need organized when I am working with my girls at their homework station.
What’s Next in the Homework Help Series?
When dealing with homework time struggles, the first thing I help parents create is a STRUCTURED, ORGANIZED work area that is both functional and flexible!
In this post I touched on a few basic areas to consider when structuring seated learning time. As the weeks progress, I will share more homework help tips to expand on these strategies as well as give more information on how parents can handle some of the different struggles that can come along with homework time.
What challenges have you encountered with homework time? I’d love to hear your questions, so that I can be sure to address them in future posts.
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