The best organizational tool for managing homework.

The best organizational tool for managing homework.

Nightly homework is one of the major causes of student and parent frustration. But, it doesn't have to be like this. By making a few simple changes to how homework is managed and allowing a student to fit in homework around everything else they want to do this nightly frustration can be overcome. 

Most schools equip students with a diary so that homework and assignments can be managed but many students find this to be ineffective for a number of reasons:

  • they simply don't write anything in their diary!
  • homework due dates are not entered so that students forget when to hand in their homework
  • entries are recorded on the day in which they received homework rather than when they intend to complete it
  • students will forget to turn the page and see what is happening, or due, the following week and therefore end up doing a lot of their homework the night before it is due.
  • assignments are not broken down into manageable parts and therefore the task seems too big leading to procrastination where the student doesn't know where to start. 
  • homework is not seen as part of the nightly routine and is only completed when the student finds time at the end of the evening. This can lead to rushed and poor quality work. 
  • many students are simply too tired or have after school activities that take priority.
  • some students don't feel that homework has any "added value" 

Two simple strategies can overcome many of these issues:

  • Homework is recorded as a general "task list." As homework is completed, it is crossed off the list. Incompleted tasks from one week go to the top of the list for the next week. This is a great way for very busy students to still complete all their homework, even it means they might still be submitting it a bit late, particularly for homework that is intended to be completed overnight. For some students, there simply isn't time on some weeknights due to other commitments, so this method allows them still do their homework but at a time that is more manageable. 
  • By using the homework planner shown in the video below, managing a homework schedule becomes the student's responsibility. This planner is completed by students, with parent support if needed,  and allows students to include all after-school activities they enjoy, including watching a favorite TV show, playing sports, practicing a musical instrument, and, yes, even playing video games! In fact, homework is the last thing to be entered in the planner as students will usually realize that there is plenty of time for them to do everything they want and to do still do their homework. Where there is insufficient time for homework remaining then the student must decide where the compromise will be. They may choose less TV or time on social media, for example, to free up more time for homework but the decision is theirs. This leads to complete ownership of the study routine by the student and therefore, a greater sense of responsibility. Parents are freed from reminding their child to do their homework and passes the responsibility to the school and the student. 

When a student feels that they are the one in control of what homework they do and when, they are more likely to actually attend to it. Students also need to understand that homework is just a part of their nightly routine and not something that prevents them from doing anything else. When they see that they actually have plenty of time in their week to do everything they want to do, including watching TV, playing sports, or simply hanging out with their mates, as well as completing all their homework requirements then there is far less resistance to homework and much more compliance!

In addition, when we hand control over to the student then this greatly lessens the need for parents to be constantly reminding their children about their homework. This reminding is one of the major sources of nightly frustration and arguments at home and I can absolutely guarantee you that these arguments will almost completely disappear when the student feels that they are the ones in the driver seat.

Watch the video to understand more about this works.

If you have any questions about this, please call jenny on 0432221995.