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9 Helpful Homework Tips

Ways to stay focused, stay on track and be successful in school

Oct 18, 2019

Is your homework making you feel overwhelmed?  If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, always struggling to catch up with your homework and studying, know that there are simple things you can do to make your life a little easier.  It can be hard to focus on homework if you’re bombarded with endless distractions, sports, and activities competing for your attention.  After being at school all day, more schoolwork is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you get home. Sometimes a little prioritizing and planning is in order!  Check out these ways to stay focused, stay on track and be successful in school.

1. Have a “Homework Space"

Pick a designated place to do your homework, and only that.  This should be a quiet, comfortable, uncluttered spot, with enough light and all the supplies on-hand that you need--like pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, paper clips, sticky notes, rulers and a dictionary.  Keep distractions out of reach.  Keep the TV far away from this space.  If you do well working with music, go ahead and put that on in the background.  Put up a bulletin board to keep track of things. 

Pick a designated place to do your homework, and only that.  This should be a quiet, comfortable, uncluttered spot, with enough light and all the supplies on-hand that you needPick a designated place to do your homework, and only that. This should be a quiet, comfortable, uncluttered spot, with enough light and all the supplies on-hand that you need

2. Give Yourself Limits

Make electronics the reward for getting your work done.  Don’t get on social media, don’t text, and don’t use any electronics like tablets or game systems until your work is done.  I know, this can be painful.  But you'll thank yourself when you're done and have the rest of the night to relax.

Write down every single assignment as you make your way through the day.  Write down every single assignment as you make your way through the day.

3. Do Homework At The Same Time Every Day

When do you feel most productive?  Do you like to get your homework done right away, or do you need some time to unwind before you dig in?  Pick a time and try to stick to it every day.  Don’t “wing it”—This so-called strategy often doesn’t end well.  Having a special time in your day to do homework will help you to avoid putting it off and waiting until the last minute. 

Having a special time in your day to do homework will help you to avoid putting it off and waiting until the last minute.  Having a special time in your day to do homework will help you to avoid putting it off and waiting until the last minute.

4. Write All Your Assignments Down

Keep a small notepad or planner just for this purpose and write down every single assignment as you make your way through the day.  When you’ve finished each assignment, put a nice big check next to it.  It feels good to know you’re getting stuff done!  If your school has a website that allows teachers to list your homework assignments and/or talk directly to you, use it.

Don’t get on social media, don’t text, and don’t use any electronics like tablets or game systems until your work is done. Don’t get on social media, don’t text, and don’t use any electronics like tablets or game systems until your work is done.

5. Know When to Take a Break

If you feel yourself getting frustrated, its okay to get up and move around, play with your dog or grab a snack before continuing.  Sometimes plowing through every assignment at once isn’t the best approach, especially if it’s challenging. 

Is your homework making you feel overwhelmed?  Is your homework making you feel overwhelmed?

6. Know What to Tackle First

If you know that your math is going to be especially hard one night, do that first.  Start with the most difficult stuff and save the easiest stuff until last.  Know how much time each subject usually takes and plan that time into your evening.

It can be hard to focus on homework if you’re bombarded with endless distractions, sports, and activities competing for your attention.It can be hard to focus on homework if you’re bombarded with endless distractions, sports, and activities competing for your attention.

7. Accept Help

Sometimes it may seem like a bother to ask family for help, but it's worth asking a parent or older sibling for help if you get really stuck.  Even if they can’t help you, it may make you feel a little better just venting your frustrations to someone who cares about you.  If help from family doesn’t work, make sure to communicate with your teacher about what you’re having trouble with.  When it comes to being successful in school and in life, good communication is key.

Sometimes it may seem like a bother to ask family for help, but it's worth asking a parent or older sibling for help if you get really stuckSometimes it may seem like a bother to ask family for help, but it's worth asking a parent or older sibling for help if you get really stuck

8. Give Yourself Enough Time for Long-term Assignments

If you have a big project due soon that will take multiple days to complete, plan ahead.  Schedule in time to work on it over the weekend, considering any weekend activities that you may have.  If you’re working with partners, set concrete days to meet with them early on.  And if you need special project supplies, make sure to give your parents enough advance notice to buy them. 

If you have a big project due soon that will take multiple days to complete, plan ahead.  If you have a big project due soon that will take multiple days to complete, plan ahead.

9. Keep a Calendar

If keeping track of your projects, tests and homework overwhelms you, you can try using a calendar to map it all out.  Desktop calendars are big enough to write in notes and deadlines, and they give you more of a visual time-frame to plan from.

Calendars are big enough to write in notes and deadlines, and they give you more of a visual time-frame to plan from.Calendars are big enough to write in notes and deadlines, and they give you more of a visual time-frame to plan from.
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Is there a homework tip you use that’s not on here?  Tell us about it!  We want to know.