Prompting your teen to sit down to study is only half the equation – the other half is getting them to stay there. Check out our top three tips that make a homework station work—even for your hard-to-please tween or teen.
The right study space: When your kids were younger, they might have parked at the kitchen counter so you could drill them on vocab and multiplication tables while you made dinner. Now, they may want a bit more privacy to power through algebra equations.
- Whether it’s a quiet desk in their room or an unused corner of the dining room, make sure there is ample space for them to spread out all their books and papers, and ideally, leave them set up from session to session. A sturdy, but comfortable chair is a must too…lounging on the couch doesn’t encourage anyone to work.
The right supplies: Paper, pens, calculator, sharpened pencils, note cards, a charged laptop, and a snack. Whatever your child needs to complete the assignment, have them assemble it before they sit down. While we are all about the importance of breaks, if your child gets up every time they need something, it’s too easy to get distracted by whatever else is going on in the house, and the diversion becomes an excuse to do something else.
- Every time there’s a disruption to the rhythm of an assignment, it just takes that much longer for kids to get back in the groove so have your child think through everything they’ll need. An unexpected supply need can send you scurrying out for a last-minute errand. Stock up now on supplies and stash everything away and you’ll always have an emergency Sharpie or poster board at the ready.
The right mind frame: All the supplies and beautiful work spaces in the world won’t help your child study unless they are ready to focus. Help them establish a routine for getting work done at the same time, every day – whether your family prefers right after school or later in the evening.
- Glance over their current and upcoming assignments to help them prioritize what needs to be done, and how they can break an overwhelming assignment or test prep into manageable pieces.
- Finally, help them learn how to schedule appropriate breaks. Whether it’s a tech break, a snack break or a dance party break, getting up and doing something different can help refresh them for the next session. Work with them on how often and how long appropriate breaks are; say, 10 minutes after every thirty minutes of intense work; or 10 minutes after completing the essay outline or bio diagram.
As the new school year kicks off, get your kids into a great homework routine starting with the perfect homework station!