young child doing homework at a table with his mum sat next to him

Top Strategies for Managing Homework

Homework…It's a word that can strike fear into the hearts of students and parents alike. Piles of papers, looming deadlines, and the constant struggle to find a balance between academics and other commitments – it's no wonder homework can feel overwhelming. However, the fear does not need to take over or dominate your thoughts. There are many different solutions when it comes to homework with a plethora of techniques, strategies and technologies that you can employ to transform homework from a daunting and looming task to a manageable training ground for success and even something to look forward to.


Planning is Key

The first step to conquering homework stress is establishing a plan. Here's how to create a winning strategy:

  • Schedule: A planner or calendar can really help when it comes to homework and your organisation. Start by mapping out your week, include dedicated homework time, factor in class schedules, extracurricular activities, and personal commitments. Be realistic about how much time each task will take, and don't forget to schedule breaks!
  • Prioritise: Not all homework is created equal. Identify the most urgent tasks, like projects with approaching deadlines or assignments that build upon future lessons. Tackle the high-priority items first, then move on to less pressing ones. Make sure to take into account which tasks will take a lot of time vs. not much time at all.
  • Make it manageable: There are plenty of time management techniques to employ, but a popular one is known as ‘The Pomodoro Technique’.  This time management method suggests working in focused 25-minute intervals followed by short breaks. This helps maintain focus and prevents burning out and losing interest. Set a timer and dive into a single focused task for 25 minutes. After the timer rings, reward yourself with a short break to stretch, fetch a snack or drink, or a breath of fresh air. Repeat the cycle until you complete your homework or reach a designated stopping point.


A Dedicated Space

Having a dedicated space for homework sets you up for success. Here are some tips for creating your ideal homework haven:

  • Finding Focus: Choose a quiet, well-lit space with minimal distractions, this could be your bedroom with a designated desk, a library study room, or even a quiet corner of your local coffee shop.
  • Organise for Efficiency: Decluttering your workspace and investing in organisational aids can definitely help! Pen holders, trays, folders, filing tools etc will help keep your study materials sorted and prevent unnecessary rummaging. Decluttering spaces can declutter your head too!
  • Personalise Your Space: Surround yourself with positive affirmations, motivational quotes, or inspirational posters to create a study environment that feels uplifting and energising.

Optimising Your Learning: Strategies for Different Learning Styles

It is incredibly important to remember different people learn differently. Here are some tips to cater to different learning styles:

  • Visual Learners: These learners benefit from visual aids and cues so using mind maps, infographics, diagrams, and colour coding can help you organise and digest information more easily.
  • Auditory Learners: As the name suggests, these learners learn best by hearing information. You might like to try read your notes aloud, recording lessons or lectures to listen back to later, listening to audiobooks and podcasts on the subject matter in questions or join study groups where you can discuss concepts verbally.
  • Kinesthetic Learners: Kinesthetic learners learn best through movement. Trying rewriting notes while walking or pacing, acting out events and subject matters to solidify learning or using building block or modelling clay to form models of concepts to digest subjects easier.

Stop the Stress - Strategies for Relaxation

Managing homework stress is just as important as managing the workload itself. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy balance:

  • Prioritise Sleep: A well-rested mind is a sharper mind and gives you the best chance of completing your work effectively and efficiently. It is good to aim for 8 hours of sleep each night to boost focus, memory, and overall well-being.
  • Move Your Body: Regular physical activity is a stressbuster and can improve cognitive function. Take a brisk walk, do some yoga stretches, or join a sports team to combat stress and enhance learning.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help manage stress and improve focus. Dedicate 5-10 minutes each day to mindfulness practices.
  • Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help: If you're struggling with a concept, don't hesitate to seek help from teachers, tutors, parents or classmates. There's no shame in asking for clarification, and it can save you hours of frustration and going round in circles.

Technology as a Tool: Apps and Resources to Your Rescue

There are many apps and online resources designed to make homework easier and more efficient. Here are a few examples:

  • Organisational Apps: Applications like Trello or Evernote can help you create to-do lists, manage deadlines, and keep track of assignments.
  • Time Management Apps: Apps like Focus Keeper or Forest can help you implement the Pomodoro Technique and stay focused during your study sessions.

Is online tutoring something you’ve been considering for your child? Book a consultation with Beyond Books today to discover the best way to support their education.

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