Bond: Dealing with the pressures of homework - East Valley Tribune: Back To School

Bond: Dealing with the pressures of homework

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Michael Bond is the owner of 1st Place Tutoring. His company assists students in grades K-12 with math, reading and science, and conducts SAT/ACT test preparation classes for high school students. Reach him at (602) 751-3594, mbond@1stplacetutoringaz.com or www.1stplacetutoringaz.com.

Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013 4:53 pm | Updated: 4:59 pm, Sun Aug 4, 2013.

When students and parents think of homework, it sometimes conjures up evenings of procrastinating, stress and an overall negative experience.

Homework is nothing more than “practice” for what was taught in school. This is especially true for subjects such as math or science.

Homework must be completed in order to gain a true understanding of the material. If homework is skipped or not taken seriously, there is no way that the student can perform well on upcoming tests.

With school starting in a few weeks, this is the perfect time to address the issue of homework.

A perfect time to start fresh with new habits that will allow homework to be part of their everyday evening routine.

1. Set aside time everyday: Homework and study time should be at the same time EVERY DAY ... Get in a routine of doing homework everyday at a certain time and it will be much easier to start. The hardest part of doing homework is getting just started.

2. Set aside time... On FRIDAY: It might feel wrong to do homework on Friday, but that is the best day to do homework. Do not wait until Sunday because students will have forgotten some of what was learned on Friday and it can result in a horrible ending to a weekend. Due to family weekend activities, students usually end up doing homework on Sunday evening. Make homework a priority on Friday and the rest of the weekend can be enjoyed.

3. Purchase extra textbooks: This is helpful for the students that are forgetful or have trouble organizing. Books can always be rented or loaned from the school bookstore or purchased on Amazon.com at very reasonable prices.

4. Create a study area: Set an area of the home that is dedicated to studying and homework. This area must be clean and clutter free. This place should also be in a area where there are minimum distractions, and allow the student to focus and feel calm.

5. Organize: Before starting, organize the study area, sort papers, and determine the order of what will be done. Start with the easy and short assignments, then move onto the tougher assignments. Break up homework into manageable chunks and take breaks between subjects.

6. Relax: When stress starts to take over, stop and take a deep breath to help release that anger or frustration. Stand up and walk around, or get a quick snack. But sit right back down and get to work. Taking brain breaks every 30 minutes will help with reducing stress. But too much relaxing is not good, and falling asleep is the worst thing that can happen. Stay awake!

7. Music: For students that are more kinesthetic or “active learners,” music is a great way to help stay focused. Soft jazz or classical music is great. There have been studies on what music is best for concentration and studying. Pandora and YouTube even have playlists dedicated to music geared to studying. Students can search for “study music” on their favorite online music website.

8. Stay positive: Never say, “I can’t do it.” Positive affirmations will help reduce the stress and frustration. Homework is difficult but not impossible. Don’t be afraid to skip the problem, but always come back to it and try again.

9. Review, review, review: Always review what was learned. After finishing an assignment, do not shut the book and walk away. Reviewing will make studying for next week’s test much easier.

10. Ask For Help: Do not be afraid to ask for help. Have a friend from class that can be called if there is a quick question. Good study partners keep each other accountable and on track. This is very helpful if the student is involved in extra-curricular actives like sports.

The summer is almost over and this is the perfect time to set a plan for the upcoming school year. Homework is very important part of being successful in school. Making homework a priority and a habit that will be done everyday is the start. Being organized and setting aside a time and place for homework is the next step. Relaxing and staying positive will lead to a more successful, and possibly the best school year ever!

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