Tomorrow is Christmas! Whether you will be staying at home, traveling, or not celebrating, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very safe and happy Christmas!
Homework Helps - Part 2 Maximizing the Benefits of Homework Guest Blogger: Debra B. Hamilton
Welcome back to our Homework Helps series. As stated in Part 1, homework is one of the most beneficial aspects of learning. However, parents must make appropriate preparations beforehand to maximize the benefits children receive from their homework/study time. In this segment of Homework Helps, we focus on a variety of tips to help parents prepare.
Tip #1: Location! Location! Location!
You have probably heard this popular phrase as it relates to real estate. It emphasizes the importance of a property’s location in determining its value or worth. This concept should be considered when selecting a location for your child to study, complete homework assignments, and review concepts learned during the school day. After all, a child’s education is extremely valuable. Some would even say it’s priceless.
What are the best aspects for a child’s homework location? What increases its value?
A Quiet Place
Provide a quiet place for your child to study. It should be free from distractions such as people going in and out and sounds from televisions, video games, and cell phones. Eliminating distractions improves a child’s ability to focus on homework.
A Well-lit Place
Provide a well-lit place for your child to study. Eliminate eyestrain and headaches and decrease the occurrence of errors due to misreading by selecting a homework location with sufficient lighting. A window for natural lighting or a lamp or ceiling fixture with ample wattage should suffice. Be sure the light shines in front of your child where it will illuminate the homework. Lights shining over the back are less effective because they cast shadows and decrease the amount of light that reaches the books and notes.
A Clean Place
Provide a clean place for your child to study. Clutter is a distraction and minimizes a child’s ability to focus. Stains from food, makeup, and pet paws look terrible on homework assignments, as well as on book pages. Teach your child to take pride in the appearance of his or her homework assignments. Be sure the homework location is clean and clutter-free.
Thanks again for visiting our Homework Helps series. Come again soon for more amazing homework tips for parents. Until next time, Happy Homework!
HOMEWORK!!!!!!! No school-related task is dreaded more by both parents and students; yet it is one of the most beneficial aspects of learning. According to the U.S. Department of Education, benefits of doing homework include the following:
Benefits for Students
· Improving memory and understanding of schoolwork
· Developing valuable study skills
· Realizing that learning can occur both inside and
outside the classroom
· Fostering independence and responsibility
· Learning time management skills
Benefits for Parents
· Improved communication between the school and the
· Increased clarity of what is expected of students
· Consistent awareness of what students are learning
· Accurate knowledge of how well their child is doing in
Maximize the benefits of homework by knowing its purpose. There are four general types of homework. It is easy to remember them by the acronym, PIPE.
· Practice—reinforces learning; helps the students master
· Integration—requires the student to apply a variety of
different skills to a single task
· Preparation—introduces material to be taught in future
· Extension—asks students to apply their skills to a new
Knowing these purposes of homework can help in choosing the best study and homework completion strategies.
Another way parents can help with homework is by knowing how to help. Increase your involvement if your child is having difficulty in school. Support your child’s approach to completing homework if your child is doing well in school.
Be sure to stay tuned for the next part of this Homework Helps series to learn some amazing homework tips for parents.
I'm So Proud of My Student!
I recently had a father come to me and ask me to work with his seventh grade son. His son was failing in all except two classes. Of the two classes he was passing, one was P.E. and he was receiving a D in the other. The father wanted me to work with his son to raise his grades and help him become better organized.
The first thing I did was speak to the child's teacher. She gave me information about his performance in school and told me specific areas in which he struggled.
According to the teacher, although he did struggle in academics, one of his major difficulties was turning-in homework. We devised a method to help him keep track of his homework and to get it turned in everyday. The teacher and I began communicating daily through his agenda. All his grades rose at least one full letter grade.
I sat with him every night as he did his homework. Some nights we only worked for an hour, other nights we worked over two hours. However, he did all the work and he learned to do the work correctly. He was soon doing much of his homework at school before coming home.
When it came time for tests, I studied with him. I helped him
learn more efficient ways to study and helped him learn new ways to study. For the first time ever, he earned an A on a major science test.
I taught him how to efficiently and effectively read textbooks. We worked together and improved his reading comprehension. I showed him how to be prepared to learn during classtime. According to his teachers, he began to participate in class. He was answering questions AND asking appropriate questions.
After working together for three months, he raised his grades to mostly A's and B's with just one C.
When I first went into college, I wanted to become a lawyer. That all changed after just a few months on the job at my local YMCA. You see, I was a swimming instructor.
I enjoyed helping others overcome their fears and helping others learn something new. I came to look forward to the excited looks on my students' faces when they first went underwater, swam across the pool by themselves, or became a certified lifeguard. It didn't matter the age of the student or the task, I got great pleasure from helping others accomplish something new.
I also discovered I have an ability to break difficult tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. To a child, going underwater can be extremely frightening. To also have to breathe out while underwater just serves to make the whole process more difficult. However, the process can be broken down into steps such as: getting in the water and becoming accustomed to just being in the water, holding on the edge of the pool and dipping the chin in the water, holding on the edge and letting the water cover the mouth, blowing bubbles in the water, and so on.
After working at the YMCA several months, I changed my college major to education.