4 Homework Tools to Keep Children on Track

Homework is a great way to reinforce what children learn in the classroom and provide opportunities to practice skills independently. Unfortunately, it can be a source of stress for many children—especially those who are naturally disorganized and tend to “spin their wheels” at homework time. Luckily, there are lots of aids that will help keep children on task and focused on what they need to accomplish. Here are some of Huntington’s tried-and-true homework tools for students:

Homework completion chart – Perfect for younger children who do not get a lot of homework but still need a simple way to mark off when they are complete with it, a homework completion chart teaches children good habits like writing down assignments and managing their tasks. Your child can keep this chart on hand during homework and check off subjects as finished. Here’s an example of what this chart might look like:

Week of: February 12

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Math

X

 

 

 

 

Spelling

X

 

 

 

 

Reading

X

 

 

 

 

 

Subject homework checklist – For children who struggle to keep track of multiple subjects, a weekly “by subject” homework checklist is a good way to keep tabs on what they need to do each night and what is coming up. One week’s sheet should list out each subject (math, reading, science, etc.) and have five boxes underneath for the days of the week. One subject would look like this:

Subject: Math

Day

Homework

 

Monday

Workbook p. 12-13

Read Math text p. 25-27

Review today’s notes

 

X

Tuesday

 

 

Wednesday

 

 

Thursday

 

 

Friday

 

 

 

Daily assignments sheet – For those who like having the “big picture,” the daily assignment sheet is an invaluable tool. You can make copies for each day of the week. The idea is to get your child into the habit of recording to-dos at the end of each class and using that as his or her guide at homework time that night. Here’s an example:

Date: Monday, March 10

Subject

Assignment

 

Anything coming up?

English

Read text Chapter 2

Worksheet

 

Test Friday

Report due March 22

Math

Text p. 14-17

 

 

Science

Read text Chapter 3

Review notes from today

 

Quiz Thursday on Chapter 3

History

No homework, but study flash cards

 

Test Thursday

Spanish

Worksheet

 

Paper due March 25

 

Project plan – For times when children have bigger projects to work on over the course of a few weeks, it’s a smart idea to break up the assignment into manageable tasks with deadlines. Encourage your child to create such a project plan as soon as the project is assigned. There are many ways to create a project plan, but here’s one possible structure:

 

Class: Social studies

Assignment or project: Research paper

Task

Start date

Deadline

Done

Select topic

 

October 1

 

Create outline

October 2

October 4

 

Research sources

October 5

October 6

 

Narrow down to best materials

October 7

October 7

 

Revise outline

October 8

October 8

 

Rough draft

October 10

October 12

 

Brainstorm visual aids

October 13

October 13

 

Draft #2

October 14

October 15

 

Choose visual aid and start collecting materials

October 14

October 16

 

Draft #3

October 16

October 17

 

Finalize visual aid

October 17

October 18

 

Finalize report

October 18

October 19

 

Proofread final report

October 20

October 20

 

Turn in paper

 

October 21

 

 

One of the keys to homework success is to stay organized, and charts and checklists help children do just that. In combination with use of the day planner, have your child try a few different methods and tools to discover what helps him or her be the most successful. Embracing such methods will give your child a sense of responsibility and ownership, help him or her stay focused on what he or she must do and when, and put those goals front and center.

 

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