Saturday, March 17 , 2018, 10:15 am | Fair 55º


Rae Largura: Making Homework Easy

Can you imagine a world where your child can’t wait to do his or her homework? As you are laughing, know that it can happen.

Appealing to his or her interests, managing the concentration span, having a buddy, using technology and using routine will ensure the love of homework.

Keep It Short and Simple

The purpose of homework is to practice a concept already learned in class. The National Parent Teacher Association recommends 10 to 20 minutes of homework starting in first grade, then add 10 minutes for every grade thereafter, capping at about 120 minutes for a student in 12th grade. Consistent studies have shown that shorter, more frequent homework assignments tend to be more effective. Because not all teachers practice this guideline, it is up to you and your student to time mange the week's worth of homework.

Appeal to Their Interests

The key to homework success is to make it simple, interesting and relevant. Try to incorporate what they know into what they need to study. Make the learning personal. If your child has a favorite baseball star, try using statistics, facts or some sort of personalization — find some common ground to somehow incorporate the baseball star into the assignment. Appealing to students’ interests is a great motivator that keeps them engaged and quite often can be the difference between getting homework done with comprehension, and not.

Get a Study Buddy

There is an abundance of research that proves group assignments and working in a group are very effective. Doing homework with peers is not only more fun, it promotes conversation about the topic. It is proven that students are more engaged in an assignment when done with a peer (and it doesn’t even need to be with a friend), thus comprehension is higher, therefore making the learning productive.

Utilize Technology

Embrace the use of new technologies by giving your student the opportunity to do homework using his or her computer or iPad. The added element of fun keeps them engaged and the plentiful resources keep them current. Sources such as are much more helpful than distracting.

Practice Familiarity

Have your student choose his or her favorite place to do homework. Whether it’s a desk or the floor shows no bearing, however the consistency of the location does. We are creatures of habit. Our brains get into a “focused mode” when it can relate to the familiar setting of already getting focused. Having a favorite homework location shows positive results for concentration with all ages and grades.

Of course, praise and acknowledgment for your child’s effort is not to be forgotten. Positive praise will always inspire more success than criticism. Homework can improve students learning and develop good habits for outside the classroom. We can do our part in helping our students not only finish their homework, but thrive on it.

Any subject, any grade: What is your question for a tutor? Email [email protected].

— Rae Largura is president of Leading Edge Tutors. The opinions expressed are her own.

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