Taking Charge of Homework

homework2Rarely do you hear of a student who actually looks forward to doing homework assignments. But there are some benefits to hitting the books after school.

Homework can help you:

  • Reinforce what you’ve learned during the day
  • Build study habits that will serve you well in college
  • Prepare for your classes
  • Get a sense of the progress you are making in a subject

Here are some tips for making homework more manageable, courtesy of The College Board—an organization of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions that helps students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services including SAT and ACT testing.

Set the right mood—Create a quiet study area—at home, school or your local library—with everything you need (calculator, books, etc.) to do your assignments.

Know where to begin—Make a list of everything you need to do, and note all deadlines. Do the more difficult assignments first, so you don’t have to face them at the end.

Study at the same time every day—Even if you don’t have homework every night, use the time to review your notes. If sitting down to work is part of your normal routine, you’ll approach it with less dread. Also, you’ll become a pro at using time productively.

Keep things in perspective—Know how much weight each assignment or test carries, and use your time accordingly.

Get more involved—Keep your mind from wandering by taking notes, underlining sections, discussing topics with others or relating your homework to something you’re studying in another class.

Organize the information—People process information in different ways. Try to find the methods that work best for you—draw pictures or charts to digest information; read out loud; make detailed outlines, etc. Ask your teacher for recommendations if you’re having trouble.
Take advantage of any free time—If you have a study period or a long bus ride, use the time to review notes, prepare for an upcoming class or start your homework.

Study with a friend—Get together with friends and classmates to quiz each other, compare notes and predict test questions. Consider joining a study group.

Communicate—If you have concerns about the amount or type of homework you have, you may want to talk to your family, teachers or counselor. They can help you understand how much time you need to allot for homework and how to manage your tasks.

Celebrate your achievements—Reward yourself for hitting milestones or doing something well.

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