Homework Help Series: Choosing a Homework Location

Have you ever tried to concentrate on completing a task when you are faced with endless interruptions, noisy distractions and missing materials? Losing your train of thought cannot only be frustrating, but can certainly make completing your job more difficult. It is helpful to get in the habit of using a specific and consistent location for homework completion. The best location is usually a place with limited distractions and temptations (noise, TV, video games, telephone, windows, siblings, etc.) In addition, having the necessary materials at hand will prevent interrupting concentration to retrieve missing supplies. Some students experience difficulty remaining focused and benefit from workspaces such as cleared off desks or tables. Be especially wary of the many desktop gadgets and gizmos that tempt children to play. As a rule, keeping it simple is best. You may also wish to consider encouraging short breaks between subjects or approximately every thirty minutes. Allow children to switch homework locations when working on different types of assignments. For example, reading a chapter book might be more relaxing in a livingroom chair (free from distractions of course) rather than while sitting at the kitchen table. Experiment to find what works best for your child by tailoring the homework environment to fit your child's learning style and/or type of assignment.

In the early stages of homework completion, young children may require occasional reminders and assistance from parents to remain on task and to keep track of their pacing, so keeping them within view is probably a good idea. Once good homework habits are established, students should be able to work independently in a remote location without reminders or silence. It is always important to remember that children's learning styles are just as different as the children themselves, so what works for one child will not necessarily work for another. The key is finding the work style which is best for you and your child.

For additional information, see Homework Help! at www.littleones.com.


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