Hard to Focus on Homework? A Few Tips for Studying at Home
Creating Better Homework Environments
An organized, efficient workspace can turn a regular home office into a homework haven. With the distractions kids face — video games, text messaging friends and Facebook updates — completing assignments after school can sometimes be an ordeal. Help your kids stay focused by following these five tips.
Create a Study Station
Choose a low-traffic area in your home — away from TVs and video games — where your kids can do their homework. The study station should be close enough for you to monitor and help them when needed, but far enough for them to avoid distractions caused by the rest of the family.
They’ll need a desk, table or counter top to spread projects out on and a comfortable chair that supports good posture. Your child should be able to sit straight up with his or her feet flat on the floor. If your children are older and need a computer to complete their homework, set up the monitor so the screen is at eye level.
Let There Be Light
While natural light flowing through window blinds is the best option, not every room has a window and sometimes homework is done at night. Whatever your options, make sure the study area is well lit. Find a quality lamp and use energy-efficient, glare resistant light bulbs and shades to create an ideal environment for reading and studying.
Stock the Space
A small bookcase, shelf or rolling cart with dictionaries, a thesaurus and other studying tools and resources should be kept near the study station. If using a table instead of a desk with drawers, keep baskets nearby filled with scissors, glue, erasers, pencils, extra led, a calculator, paper clips, tape, USB drives, paper and a stapler. Hunting around the house for materials they need will only distract your students and keep them from completing their homework.
If possible, stick a comfy chair in the corner and complete the room with a reading niche. When your child is assigned a long reading or needs to take a break, they can snuggle up in the chair and get to reading.
Keep Them Motivated
Decorate the space by mounting motivational pictures and quotes on the wall. A vision or bulletin board with too much going on — reminders, to-do lists, photos — will distract studiers and cause them to lose focus. Opt for only two or three pictures and quotes.
Schedule breaks in their study time to prevent burn outs. Provide a healthy, one-handed snack such as pretzels, carrot sticks or granola bars to keep them fueled and motivated.
Wi-Fi and Parental Controls
Internet games and social networks can be tempting for students who should be studying. During homework time, establish Internet time outs and establish Wi-Fi and parental controls. Also consider using Google SafeSearch to help Web searchers avoid accidentally stumbling upon inappropriate or adult-only sites.
Make sure to test Wi-Fi reception in the study area, and if it is a dead spot a Wi-Fi booster can help extend coverage. If accessing the Internet with multiple devices, contact your Internet service provider to verify your bandwidth and planned data use to avoid stalling homework time because the Internet is too slow.
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