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Archive for September, 2017

10 Tips for a Successful School Routine

With Back to School in full swing, families are now re-adjusting to daily routines. The start of the academic year can be overwhelming for both students and parents after the entire summer off.

Our team of tutors has rounded up these 10 tips to help your family thrive throughout the year!

  1.  Set up a monthly calendar: Every month carve out time to sit down as a family to plan out schedules. Mark down all extracurricular activities and special events in a monthly calendar, and remember to schedule in homework time too.
  2. Encourage the use of an agenda: Help your child develop good organizational habits by using a traditional agenda or digital tool to record homework assignments and important dates (i.e. projects, tests, exams).
  3. Monitor homework frustrations: It’s normal for students to feel some frustration over their homework. Check in with them early in the evening to avoid late-night surprises. If your child regularly struggles with assignments, encourage them to talk about it with the classroom teacher.
  4. Schedule time to relax: Kids need time for a break before starting homework after a long day of learning. Make sure to incorporate regular downtime and snacks into daily schedules.
  5. Have an electronics policy: Consider setting up a docking station in a central area in your home. Ask your kids to keep all electronics out of sight during homework time to avoid distractions and to leave them docked at bedtime so they can have a proper rest.
  6. Organize a homework area: A dedicated area with good lighting is helpful to store homework and for students to ultimately sit down to tackle work. Keep it stocked with papers, pencils, sharpeners, erasers and any other supplies needed.
  7. Create a place for school notes: The academic year is loaded with notes, reminders, and forms to fill out. Select a space to house them all. One idea is beside the electronic docking station.
  8. Manage the keepsakes: Soon your children’s work will be coming home for you to keep. Planning how you will keep track of these mementos will help you stay organized and reduce clutter. Decide if you will use a file folder, take photos or scan the work for a digital keepsake.
  9. Prepare gear before bedtime: Build knapsack organization into your child’s routine before bedtime. Ask them to fill their bag with an agenda, notes, homework and any other gear needed for the next day. Leave it by the front door unzipped, so it’s ready for the lunch bag to be added in before you all walk out the door.
  10. Ask for help: Draw on the expertise of others to help your child reach their academic goals when needed. This can be in the form of peer tutors, friends, homework clubs, family members, teachers and professional tutors.

We wish your family a successful school year. Which one of these tips will you put into action first?

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How To Encourage Kids Who Are Reluctant To Do Homework

Homework strategies

School’s back and your children have months of learning ahead of them, some of which will happen at home. Homework is an opportunity for children to practice the new skills they are learning at school and consolidate this knowledge. Students in the early years may bring home books to read. As children move into the higher grades, their homework becomes more involved with reports and projects.

Regardless of the type of homework, your child is bringing home, at times they can be quite reluctant to complete it, and the whole family may become frustrated. Take a deep breath-we have seven tips from our team of OCT-certified tutors to help end the homework battles:

Create a calendar: Sit down with your whole family and plan a weekly and monthly schedule that includes their extra curricular activities, free time, homework time and family time. Also, note any upcoming tests or exams to avoid studying at last minute.

Participate in the homework routine: Even if your child doesn’t need help with their homework, sitting down near or beside them can help your child to feel supported or at least not like everyone else is having fun while they work. Use this time as an opportunity to see what they are learning in class and their understanding of the material.

Set time limits: A visual timer can work well to help motivate students who are reluctant or feeling frustrated about their homework. They can see how much time they have to spend on the work rather than feel like it might go on forever.

Use the agenda: Another way to modify the time spent on homework is to try breaking it up into smaller sessions of time over the week. Sit down with your child and schedule out sessions in their agenda to get their homework done. Not only will a plan help alleviate some frustrations, but this will also assist them to develop organization skills, too.

Connect with the teacher: If you notice your child is struggling with their homework regularly, it may be time to touch base with their teacher. Set up a meeting to tell them what is happening at home. Your child’s teacher may have some strategies to help or may be able to modify some of the homework for your child.

Talk with your child: Sometimes children may be able to explain why they are avoiding their homework or why it leaves them feeling frustrated. Talk with your child to see if they can articulate their feelings. Perhaps they are tired and homework time could start earlier in the evening? Or maybe they feel like they don’t have enough free time during the week and you can address the family calendar together to see what can change.

Consider getting help: Homework help can happen in many different ways. You might engage the support of a family member or neighbour. Sometimes schools offer homework clubs, and in the older grades, many teachers have specific times during the week they are available to provide extra help to their students.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources, Toronto Tutoring

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