My 11 year old started secondary school last September, I knew it would be a big change, but hadn’t realised just how much of a jump the move from Primary to Secondary is. It’s not just the extra homework, but getting himself there and back, making new friends ( and me not knowing those friends or their parents ) and generally being a lot more independent. It’s been a big change for all of us and has taken a fair bit of adjustment, but I think we’re starting to get there.
All my children do a lot of sport outside school so time in the week is limited, which means homework tends to stack up for the weekends, and in the beginning completely took over what was once our family time together. I think I can now say that apart from the odd blip we’ve managed to find a way to make it work and keep everyone happy for the most part.
Study Tips For Kids
Create a quiet homework area
None of my children do well with distractions, so working in the kitchen isn’t a good environment for them. We set them up with a good size desk in their rooms that’s big enough to hold papers, pens, books etc and that seems to have really helped.
I didn’t buy Zak a laptop or computer at the start of the year, as I thought he could use mine, but as time went on it became obvious he really needed his own, so when ao.com sent us this HP Stream Cloudbook Laptop to review he was thrilled ( as were his sisters, who borrow it whenever they can ). The laptop comes with a year subscription to Office 365 and 1TB cloud storage, which has been super handy already.
It’s the perfect size laptop for us to take out too, so he can do homework on the go.
At the start of the year we were very last minute with everything, but we’ve since learned that making use of even a spare 10 minute slot is helpful.Even if it’s just researching one question, it’s time saved later.
Make a Plan
Prioritise the work in the order it has to be done. If it feels overwhelming, we make a list and work through it slowly, crossing things off as they are completed.
Completely finishing one task before starting the next has helped us as well, otherwise we end up with several bits of unfinished homework at the end of a weekend.
Make sure you understand the question
Zak now makes sure he understands exactly what needs to be done before leaving the classroom to avoid confusion later, he’s also improved massively what he writes in his homework diary, having learned from experience that even if he’s sure about what needs to be done at the time, that might not be the case when he comes to do the homework up to a week later.
It’s much better to spend a bit extra time and get it right than rush and have to do it again. We sometimes write homework out in rough and then into homework books later saving a lot of scribbles and rubbing out.
We definitely haven’t got the homework thing perfect yet, but are certainly finding it much easier than we did at the start of the year.
Do you have any top study tips for us?
Rebecca | AAUBlog
I think that having a set space for them to study is really important – having a desk helps a lot to get them in the right focused mood 🙂
I do not miss this stage of life! A good place to study is definitely a must whatever age you are <3
One of the things I have learned as an adult working from, is that you need to have a separate space dedicated to your work. This is as applicable to office work, as homework. So, I totally agree with the first point you have made. One thing I would like to add to this list is the idea of making it learning fun, which might take some time and effort on a parent’s part, but if the goal is met, then everything goes smoothly from there.