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Organize Homework
Keep your kids on track during the school year with these homework tips.

  • Upon returning from school, have children empty their backpacks and set assignments and permission slips in a designated area, perhaps an “in” basket. After the homework is done and any slips are signed, put everything in an “out” basket or another designated spot.

  • Some children prefer to have a bit of downtime after school, while others like to get to homework right away. Determine what works best for your kids and try to maintain that routine.

  • If your child has trouble concentrating, set a timer for 20 minutes. When the timer rings, offer him a short break, perhaps five minutes, before he resumes his homework.

  • To help your kids stick to the homework routine, create an inviting workspace for them. This might be a bedroom desk, a comfortable spot in the family room or the kitchen table.

  • Be sure to supply the workspace with plenty of light and school supplies. Have your child pick out his favorite supplies—a cool pen or colorful folders, for example—and set them aside just for homework.

  • Try to limit distractions such as the TV, computer and phone. Soft background music can help some children remain focused and alert.

  • Finally, serve as your kids’ “after-school” teacher by checking their homework every night.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education