If you have a child in their teenage years, you already know just how busy their lives, and yours, can be. Oftentimes, teens get so busy that they find it difficult to focus on one thing at a time, often leading to declining grades. One way that you can help your teen do better academically, and in all other areas of life, is to teach them good organizational skills and study habits. By helping your teen realize the importance of organization, what time they do spend on homework and studying will be maximized, meaning that they do better in school, and have more time to pursue other interests.
If you are at home when your kids come home from school, you can probably attest to the fact that the first thing they do when they walk in the door is drop their stuff and head off for some fun and food, before even thinking about their homework or studying for that big test. There is nothing wrong with taking some time to unwind and get a snack, as long as it is a quick break, and then right back to the studies. It is all too easy for your teen to get involved in other activities, and shove their homework to the back of their mind, meaning that they either have to stay up late to get it done, or they just neglect it altogether. You may even convince your teen to try coming home, grabbing a light snack, and then taking a short nap, so that they are more relaxed, and more prepared to do their homework. However you do it, it is important that you stress the importance of not procrastinating when it comes to their daily assignments and studies, that after a snack and a few minutes of break-time, homework and studying has to be done before anything else.
You should also make certain that your teen has a clean, quiet, well-organized space in which to do homework and study. Make certain that the desk or area is well stocked with pens, pencils, paper, etc. Everything should be placed within easy reach, and you should make sure that you think about your teen’s comfort and personal preferences when designing the area.
For chronic procrastinators, or those who often just skip their homework completely, you may have to check after them to make sure everything is complete. If your child comes home from school at 4pm, create a rule that all homework and studying has to be turned into you no later than 7pm, and that nothing else can be done until you have the assignment in your hands. Your children may not like you, but they will get better grades, and learn to accept the fact that they have to do homework, if they ever hope to have any free time of their own.
If your teenager gets bombarded with a lot of homework everyday, allow time for a break every half-hour or so, give them about ten minutes to grab a drink, or go outside, etc. You may have to monitor breaks for chronic procrastinators, but once your children learn that you are not going to bend on the rule, they will start to accept it. Breaks will help your child stay focused on the task at hand, whether it is reading, or writing an essay.
It can be a nightmare trying to fight your children, particularly teenagers, to get their homework done, at a reasonable time. Many of them want to wait until the very last minute, often staying up well into the night to finish an assignment or study for a test, and not only is the quality of work usually bad, they usually feel bad and have no energy the next day, compounding the issue. So, if your child has bad homework or study habits, the sooner you take control and change things, the better for everyone involved!