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    Notes from the Student Support Department


    26 Jul, 2017

    10 : 00

    • Homework is one aspect of the general education curriculum that has been widely recognized as important to academic success. Teachers have long used homework to provide additional learning time, strengthen study and organizational skills, and in some respects, keep parents informed of their children's progress.

      YCIS Chongqing Student Support Department has always been working with students on homework strategies. By analyzed several researches and studies, One thing we have discussed is the importance of having a designated homework space.

      The word “homework,” greeted with anxiety by kids and parents alike, will soon be the topic of daily conversation once again. You can make things easier by taking on a little assignment of your own: Set up a designated homework area where your kids will be happier and more productive.

      Choose the right location

      For kids in elementary school who need assistance with assignments, choose a space that is centrally located so you’ll be able to help them while you’re chopping vegetables or stirring the soup for dinner. Proximity is less crucial for middle and high school students, but limiting distractions is important. If possible, involve your kids in the decision of where they’ll do their work.

      Regardless of the child’s age, the homework station should have plenty of surface space. Kitchen and dining room tables often become default homework stations because their size gives children room to spread out their supplies and paperwork. This isn’t recommended, however, because you’ll need to clear the clutter each time you eat, and because competing needs for the space can become a disincentive to start homework.

      Find and organize supplies

      Once you have identified a sizable space, begin thinking about the supplies your child will need and how best to store them. Although the size of the homework station is crucial, a fancy or expensive desk with built-in storage is not. A portable folding table will suffice, or if you would like to create a simple desk, companies such as the Container Store and Ikea allow you to mix and match table legs and tabletops to create your own individualized workspace without spending a lot of money.

      For young children it is best to have supplies visible and easily accessible. Pencils, erasers, scissors, glue sticks and other accessories can be kept on the desk’s surface in recycled glass or plastic cups or colorful or organizers. Extra paper and ongoing or past assignments can be stored in vertical desktop files or in portable file drawers beside or beneath the desk. Other essentials include a trashcan, clock, calendar and a pencil sharpener. To create a sense of ownership for the space, ask your kids to help choose and organize their supplies.

      Create a go-to spot

      Electronic gadgets allow middle and high school students to be more mobile than young kids; however, a permanent homework spot is still essential. Even though teenagers might prefer to sit on the couch or in bed with their laptop, sitting at a desk helps promote concentration and alertness. Additionally, a desk will provide a space to store supplies, spread out papers and keep a docking station for chargers.

      Another advantage of a designated homework space is that you can have a set surface where you and your kids can post scheduling reminders and deadlines. You could hang a magnetic board or bulletin board, or use stick-on chalkboard or dry-erase boards that can be easily removed in seconds, without damaging the wall. A comfortable desk chair will make homework more tolerable and concentration more likely. Likewise, the workspace should be well lighted. At the end of each night, your child should be expected to straighten up the workspace and put supplies back in their proper places.

      Try it out and then reassess

      I suggest getting the space set up before school starts. Then, after the first month of school, you and your child can determine whether the space is working well and whether any additional materials are needed. You’re likely to be restocking supplies throughout the year, but the December break is a good time to de-clutter and reorganize the space if changes are necessary.

      Finding a space where your child can complete his or her homework without getting totally stressed out, or stressing you out, is difficult. Don’t be discouraged if the first place you choose isn’t perfect; this will be an ongoing and evolving process throughout your child’s life as a student. But having a space set up and creating a homework routine during the first week of school will help smooth the transition from summer’s hot, hazy days to fall’s hurried, homework days.