Classrooms conducive to learning may go a long way toward helping students understand the subjects they study in school, but the environment kids encounter at home also plays a big role in how well kids do in their studies. A homework-friendly atmosphere at home can facilitate learning, and there are many ways parents can create such an environment for their school-aged children.
- Designate a homework zone in a distraction-free area of your home. Some youngsters are easily distracted, and those distractions come in many forms. A living room where the television is blaring, a noisy kitchen where dinner is being prepared and a room where pets can roam free are not ideal homework areas, as each can take kids' attention away from their assignments. Designate a room in your home that is quiet and well lit so kids can do their homework free from distraction.
- Choose the right location for the homework room. When choosing an area of your home where kids will do their homework, avoid rooms adjacent to the kitchen and living room, as these rooms tend to be popular and subject to heavy foot traffic. But don't choose a room that's too far away from the hustle and bustle, such as the basement, as that may make kids feel as though they are being punished. In addition, you want to be able to periodically check in on kids to see if they need help and make sure they aren't spending their homework time surfing the Internet or procrastinating.
- Keep the homework room clean. A cluttered homework room may be less appealing to children, and such disorganization also can distract kids from the tasks at hand. Encourage kids to keep their homework rooms clean, and help them clean up if need be. Supplies and other items kids need should be easily accessible in the homework room so kids are not wasting time looking for items they need to complete their homework.
- Let kids rest or relax before starting their homework. Another element of a good homework atmosphere is letting kids unwind between getting home from school and cracking open the books. A break between school and homework time can help kids focus better on their studies. In the interim between arriving home from school and starting on their homework, give kids a healthy snack that can provide an extra jolt of energy they can use once they start their homework.
- Evaluate how the homework zone is working. Once an ample amount of time has passed, examine how kids are performing on their homework assignments. If they are doing well, then there is no reason to break up the current routine. If they are struggling, ask them if there is anything about the current setup they dislike and address those issues accordingly.
Kids rarely look forward to doing their homework. But the right atmosphere can make homework seem like less of a chore and more of an opportunity for kids to apply themselves.