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Homework – set the stage for success

A child’s mind is like a sponge – they readily absorb what is around them. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes this is not so good. When children are learning and taking in everything around them, it is understandable that they need to have a suitable environment to have an optimal learning experience.

What may be a suitable environment for one child may not work for another child. We are all different people, with different personalities and different learning styles. The following suggestions may be helpful in creating a suitable homework environment to enhance your child’s learning:

1. Create the atmosphere – Children these days are easily distracted, which highlights the importance of having an optimal homework environment. Make sure it is a simple, well-lit area with no major distractions, especially electronic devices. Make it a rule – no noise, no toys and no extraneous activities around them, which often results in no homework problems.

2. Allow for space/breaks – When children get off the bus, they need a break. And why not? They have had to stay focused all day at school. Build it into their routine to allow them to rest before a child does anything. If they are rested, children are more inclined to stay focused and more likely to enjoy their homework. A rested brain means the brain is ready to work and is in “absorption” mode, not recovery-and-spent mode.

3. Make sure the child is well fed – Food is something we all need. Having a child who is well fed will help the child work better. The human body simply cannot function properly without proper nutrition. Healthy meals and snacks help a child’s learning go a long way.

4. Be organized – Being well organized is a sure way to have your child succeed in his or her studies. Have a homework caddy easily accessible so when the child is ready to start working, everything is ready to go, and there is no need to search for anything, which may cause a child to become distracted.

5. Be available – Children may not want an adult right next to them while they are working, but it is important for them to know that you are available if they need you. Using phrases like, “It looks like you have worked really hard on that sentence” instead of empty praise such as, “You are the best at writing sentences” will help them realize their work is important.

These are just a few tips to help you create the near-perfect homework environment for your child. Start with these tips, and then observe doing his or her homework. You may also want to spark up a casual conversation with your child about what he or she does and doesn’t like about homework. Based on the answers, try to accommodate, and make homework something your child enjoys.

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