For organizing homework tips I reached out to my head manager, Marlie Reid. Marlie is not only my top organizer, but she was also a tutor. So she knows good homework practices and how to organize them. Marlie shared four key tips with me.
1. Designate an effective homework/study location
Reserve a dedicated space just for studying. It should be somewhere with good lighting, that’s comfortable, and with little-to-no distractions. Your child can take a break from this area to get a snack or just breath and stretch. After your student recharges, however, it is important to have this study space to return to.
I would include a dedicated study zone as an example of limitations breed freedom. Limit the space to just homework and you have the freedom to focus and excel.
2. Get a planner
Write down all assignments/projects and when they are due. Long term and big projects should be broken down into different parts, over time, until due date. Also write down test dates and plan study times leading up to test date. Make sure to include extracurricular activities (such as sports, clubs, hobbies, etc.) in planner/calendar. The more information entered and planned out into manageable increments, the better an asset the planner/calendar will be.
It helps when you don’t think of your planner as one more thing you have to do. Instead, see it as a way to give yourself fewer things to think about. Put those thoughts in a safe place and forget about them until that week comes. Make a point to review that planner every day. Then when you see items coming due, give them your full attention.
3. Create a Routine
The planner/calendar will be very helpful in doing this. Establishing a manageable daily routine will help you stay on top of assignments, studying, and ongoing projects. The planner gets this started, but then many of the daily events become habit. That’s when they become routine.
Tip #1 is for managing space limitations, where as tips #2 and #3 are for managing time limitations. Again, these limitations, actually free you up to focus on what matters most. In this case, what matters most is homework.
4. Energize to Optimize
Make sure to rest well and schedule your rest as well, if needed. Also eat and drink before homework sessions or during breaks while working. Energy is vital to brain performance and will help with focus. Proteins make better brain food than empty carbs. Schedule in some exercise too, because a fit body helps a fit mind.
We know organizing is about the limited resources of space and time, but it’s so easy to forget the energy element. So be sure to organize energy into your homework
Bonus, Help from parents
How can parents help with organizing homework? It varies from child to child, but generally it’s about striking the right balance. Being overbearing is often counter productive, but neglecting their studies completely also doesn’t work. Check in on what your kids are studying, not too much, but regularly, like maybe every Friday. It makes them more accountable and it reduces the surprises at parent-teacher meetings!
Got a favorite homework organizing tip you’d like to share? Let us know! We’d love to hear it.