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Set a Homework Routine


Social-Emotional Learning All Ages Strategy


Organization Working Memory Attention Processing Speed

Set a Homework Routine

If your student is handing in incomplete homework or complains that homework takes too long

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Teachers, students, and parents work together to develop a daily homework routine that can help students stay organized, focused and efficient.
  2. Direct Instruction: Help students understand the importance of creating a structured schedule and plan for homework. Having a plan for homework time will help you stay focused and enable you to complete what you need to in a shorter amount of time. These study habits will help you your entire school career.
  3. Class Activity: Give students a template to fill out, using the Homework Plan Checklist (on the next slide). Finding the optimal homework routine for each individual might take some trial-and-error, as well as support from a parent at home. Conference with each student or in small groups to discuss their plans.
  4. Home-School Connection: Have the student bring the plan home and discuss and modify it with a parent. It is important that the plan is realistic. Consider creating the plan before parent-teacher conferences and discussing it during conference time.
  5. Reflect and Adapt: Check in with your students after 1-2 weeks. First be sure the student is following the plan. If not, why not. If he is following it, and it's not working consider making changes.

*students* Homework Plan Checklist

  1. Where to study. Choose a specific spot where you can focus.
  2. Homework Start time. This might differ by day based on activities.
  3. Order. Write down an order to tackle your subjects each night. Try doing your toughest subject or assignment first so you have the most energy. You might change this depending on the night.
  4. Time per assignment. Include an estimated time per subject or assignment.
  5. Include breaks.This will help you keep up stamina.
  6. Prepare for the morning. Save time for putting away materials and preparing your backpack.

*parents* At-home Support

  1. How much homework support to provide can be confusing. Keep in mind, the goal over time is independence.
  2. The general rule is that by third grade children should be able to sit down independently to complete homework and only come to an adult with occasional questions. Practically speaking, not all children are ready by third grade.
  3. Provide support for your student to follow the homework plan she has created so she can build structured routines and study habits. Help your student reflect on if the plan is working and adapt as needed.
  4. If your child still needs you in the room during homework, try to gradually decrease dependence on you by starting out in the room until he gets into the flow of the work. At an appropriate time say, "I will go do some work and will be back in 10 minutes in case you need me." Build trust by returning at that time and checking in. Over time, the goal is to help your child minimize the time it takes to get into the flow and increase the time you are out of the room.
  5. Most importantly, make sure your child has a clean, well-lit, comfortable desk space with minimal distractions.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Having a predictable routine helps students feel their work is manageable and helps them focus in on one thing at a time. Predictable routines allow students to feel safe and know what to expect. They also take a lot of the struggle out of parent-child interactions when it is time for work. When used consistently, students will begin to learn how to plan and organize tasks, manage their time, and make effective choices. In summary, good time management will help students (and parents) feel better and that should ultimately lead to greater success.