Homework is certainly a dreaded task for most middle schoolers, especially if they have a lot of it. I would like to share 6 tips that have helped my middle school student tackle homework like a champ!
- Snack & Play - After school give them a healthy (nutritionally balanced) snack and allow them a half hour or so of free time. After a long day of school, kids need a chance to unwind and relax before hitting the books again.
- Prioritize - Figure out which assignments are due the next day. (Some middle schools provide students with planners in which to write assignments, which is a super helpful tool for prioritizing homework.) Get due-tomorrow assignments out of the way first, and then move on to those that are due later in the week. Working ahead will lower the chance of pressure from an undone assignment due the next day.
- Breaker Breaker- Let your student take a break between assignments (Pomodoro Technique, anyone?) to stretch and clear their mind. Of course they will also get that longer break to eat dinner with the family.
- Get a Different Perspective- If they get stuck on a problem or are having trouble focusing, have them move to another room, a different seat or even sit outside if the weather is nice. Changing the environment can help jumpstart their brains again.
- Be flexible- Sometimes there’s just too much to complete in one night. Encourage them to finish the assignments highest on the priority list in the evening, and have them get up a little early the next morning to finish any remaining assignments. Staying up too late becomes counterproductive. A good night's sleep and fresh eyes can really help.
- Study with a Buddy- When possible let them study and work on homework with a friend. Time goes faster and makes homework a little more fun.
Remember, school is your student's job right now. Think about tricks that help you be productive in your own job while avoiding burnout, and translate them into kid-friendly versions to help your child be a successful student. I hope these tips will help you and your middle schooler more successfully tackle the homework beast!