Ally Learning is in the homework helping business. We offer the Homework Help program at the Ally Learning Center in Redford. We will also be offering the Homework Help Club at some of the local schools in the area. Finally, in addition to these two initiatives, we have one-on-one tutoring where we assist students with their daily workload.
It would be great if students could complete all their homework while in the company of an Ally Learning tutor. However, this is not likely and students still need to be prepared to do some of their homework at, well…home.
Fortunately, even though Ally Learning can’t be with the students at all time doesn’t mean we can’t offer advice on how best to approach homework in the household: Advice for both students and parents to relieve some of the stress that comes with the mere idea of having more work after school.
Establish a Timetable
The first thing anyone’s child wants to do immediately after school is homework. Right? Well, no. After a seven-hour day of school it’s usually the last thing on a student’s mind. And while it’s tempting for a parent to inquire about homework as soon as the student gets home, we don’t recommend this. Instead we think it’s best to briefly ask about the child’s day and wait a bit until you get back to the issue of homework.
The ending of the school day is different for all types of students.* High school students are excused earlier but many of them have afterschool activities. And some parents might not be home until early evening. Because of these various factors, the window of time to complete homework usually ranges from narrow to less narrow.
*For this journal entry, we will assume that both the parent and his/her child are at home when school day ends. Other families can adjust our recommendations to their respective schedules.
After the student has taken some time (maybe about an hour) to decompress from the school day, the parent should broach the topic of homework.
When addressing homework, a parent should keep in mind these questions for their child:
- Have any homework tonight? (Go through each subject/class one by one).
- What type of homework do you have? Simple assignment? Group project? Essay? Studying for an exam?
- Where in the house would you like to work? How can other family members limit distractions and/or help?
- Want to get it done before dinner? Work around it? Want a little snack first? (Being well fed for homework may seem trivial but it’s crucial in both effectiveness and efficiency.)
- What resources or materials are needed? Do you need the computer? Do you need sources besides a textbook?
Stick with the Routine
Many households have more than one active student. Some even have students in elementary school and high school at the same time. This can further complicate planning out an afternoon/evening of homework time. But once a routine is established the scheduling and implementing of homework will become second nature.
To ensure that a daily homework routine endures is to take advantage of resources/tools available.
- If smart phones are on hand, block out homework times on the Calendar app. Or set a daily alarm for the most desired start time. Parents and students can both do this if they have access to smart phones.
- Have a whiteboard/To Do List on the refrigerator. These are usually sold office supply stores or even a dollar store. Sometimes due dates are known far in advance. Write this information down. Don’t procrastinate until the day before a big assignment is due.
- For parents, stay connected with teachers. There are so many ways to communicate these days. At the very least there should be a scheduled email correspondence between teacher and parent so everyone is on the same page in regards to student performance.
The Long-Term Plan
As mentioned above, the establishment and persisting with a routine may seem difficult at first. However, getting started will be the most challenging aspect. Once it’s in place and the results are clear (and there will be results) the homework routine will come just as naturally as a morning routine.
Furthermore, the Ally Learning team will help keep everyone on track as best they can. See our related post on Time Management for even more details on how to best to approach homework.