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Posts Tagged 'Homework'

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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How to Take Effective Study Notes

Student studying

Having effective study notes help student develop a better understanding of a topic and help remember and learn concepts.   With exams around the corner, having well organized notes by subject, will significantly reduce stress and allow students to focus on review versus learning concepts from scratch.

Developing strong note taking strategies also encourages students to better focus on the teachers’ lesson and helps connect ideas between topics.

Here are some of our favourite tips to strengthen students’ note taking:

1) Write Notes in Your Own Words: Avoid writing directly from a textbook or existing notes.  Part of the process of note taking is to encourage thinking on subjects and how different topics link together.   Writing your own notes forces students to understand the concept and verbalize it on their own.

2) Use Colour:  Make studying fun by highlighting certain words, terms or mnemonic devices by colour to reinforce ideas.

3) Diagrams:  These are a wonderful strategy to draw pictures to associate with topics.  In particular with science, using diagrams for biology, chemistry and physics can help visualize and better understand a concept.

4) Use a Notebook or Binder:  Having random sheets of paper can cause students to loose notes or cause them to fall out of order.  We recommend using a notebook or binder to ensure that papers stay together in their intended order.

5) Don’t be Afraid to Re-write Notes:  If a concept is difficult or it is sure to come up on an exam, re-writing notes can help consolidate and solidify the item.

6) Keep Notes in an Organized Manner: Use headings and subheadings helps students find the section they are looking to study for.

7) Use Technology:  Digitize your content in the cloud (ie. Google Drive) so you can access your notes on any device as you are studying.

8) Record your Notes: Use a voice recording app to read and record your notes.  Reading and then listening to your notes can be more effective than only reading.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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5 Tips To Make Homework Time Less Stressful

Homework time can present anxiety for learners. You’re not alone if you’re looking for ways to help your kids stay focused and on task, feel motivated to start and complete their coursework, as well as find a balance between extracurricular activities, assignments, and family commitments. A well-planned and executed after-school and evening routine can be the answer.

We polled our team of seasoned tutors at Teachers on Call for the inside scoop on how to tackle this topic. Following are 5 expert tips from our tutors that can help you and your kids leave the stress behind and create a smooth homework routine.

1. Decompress and relax.

After a long day at school, kids need time for a break and snack before tackling homework.

2. Prioritize and use family calendars.

Elementary and high-school students can have jam-packed schedules filled with extracurricular activities and commitments. Homework needs to be made a priority with students encouraged to complete all academic exercises while they are fresh and not exhausted. A family calendar can help make homework less stressful with the organization by tracking all obligations and ensuring playdates aren’t on nights when students have heavy workloads.

3. Put away the distractions.

All electronics should be put away and out of sight unless used as a homework tool. TV, cell phones, and computers create many temptations for kids.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Students should not get discouraged or catch up with questions they don’t understand. A trick is to highlight or mark an asterisk next to the unknown to signify that help is needed, and the concept needs revisiting. Encourage kids to try their best and attempt a solution versus leaving a blank answer.

5. Ask for help.

The recommendation is that students start schoolwork independently, then draw on the expertise of others when needed. Help can be in the form of peer tutors, friends, homework clubs, family members, professional tutors and teachers.

Students will get a boost to their self-esteem and confidence when they feel good about the work they hand in.

Want more tips for a stress-free homework routine? Visit at Help! We’ve Got Kids for five more tips. 

Posted in: Parent Education Resources, Special Education Tutoring

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Win the Battle of the Backpack

We have partnered with the KAos Group, a leader in organizational skills to offer tips and strategies around keeping your backpack, papers and homework organized.

Below is a helpful step-by-step guide to organize all the papers, books and supplies that get unpacked and repacked 5 days a week. As you create a place for each section below, put a check mark in the box.

1) Choose a homework spot that remains consistent:

A holding place is helpful to leave homework until your child is ready to sit down to do their work. The place should remain the same, so your child is responsible for packing up their own work that night or in the morning, once completed.

2) Create a place for your child to place notices for review: 

These are the notices for upcoming events that your child will be participating in or where your attention and/or participation is required.  Ie. sports events, ceremonies or after school programs.

3) Calendars:

Your child will have an agenda and parent/guardian will likely have a smartphone or paper day timer.  It is important that the child can review a month at a glance effortlessly and add important dates as necessary.

Tip: The Family Calendar:

A single calendar that everyone can review easily and effortlessly is a resourceful tool in a household.  It is very helpful to refer to the month at a glance as a quick reminder for library day, math tests, weekly activities and family events.  The ‘family calendar’ is also a great stepping stone for children until they learn to use their own agendas as a daily habit.

4) Keepsakes: 

Your child will bring home art work, tests and projects. Consider two areas in your home to distinguish between keepsakes and items to eventually be recycled.

About the KAos Group

KAos Group is in the business of organization. We work closely with clients to help indentify inefficiencies, the cutter and disorganization that prevents progress and personal growth, and help clients streamline their business and personal lives to reduce stress and increase productivity. Visit www.kaosgroup.com for more information.



Posted in: Parent Education Resources, Special Education Tutoring

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