Doing homework can be fun. Especially when it's just the right amount of challenge —
not too easy, not too hard. But if you're a kid
who gets distracted easily, homework takes a lot more time. And it feels a lot less
Here are three big tips that help you get better at doing homework:
Get it done!
1. Get Organized
Being organized means having things you need and knowing where to find them. When
you're organized, you don't have to spend time looking for things and getting sidetracked.
Organize your stuff. Label your binders and folders, and keep
your school papers in the right ones. Clean out your backpack every day, so you have
only what belongs in there. Keep things you take to school in the same place every
day. That way, it's always easy to find your backpack, shoes, and coat.
Organize your space. Have a place for doing homework. It's best
to use a desk or table where you can spread out your work. Gather any supplies you'll
need before you get started — like pencils, papers, or markers. Don't use your
bed for homework. That makes it too easy to snooze, daydream, or play instead of doing
Organize your time. Use a planner to help you keep track of what
you need to do and when you will do it. Mark the dates when you will have tests, and
when you will study for them. Mark the days when you will have sports practice, lessons,
or other activities. Write down your homework every day. Look at your homework list
and your planner every day.
2. Stay Focused
After you get organized, it's time to focus on what you
have to do. This means putting your attention on your homework.
Get rid of distractions. Some people
try to do homework while they have music or a favorite show playing in the background.
But these distractions make it hard to focus. They will make your homework take longer
and keep you from doing your best. Remind yourself that its time to do homework. And
give yourself free time after it's done.
Get ready — get started. Pick
the first thing you'll work on. Then talk yourself through it. "OK, I'll do my math
problems. Let me read the first one." Then go ahead and do it. Ask yourself, "What's
the next step?" Answer: "Write down the numbers I have to add up to get the answer."
Then add them up. Write down your answer. Check your work to see if it's right. Take
each step one at a time. Focus on the step you're doing.
Take breaks. If your attention starts
to drift, get up and move around for a few minutes. But don't start playing or doing
something else. Just walk around your homework area a couple of times, go get a drink
of water, or stand and stretch. Do some jumping jacks or walk up and down the stairs.
Moving and breathing keeps your mind alert and ready to focus.
Refocus. After a break, get right
back to work. Pick the step you'll work on next. Talk yourself through it. Then do
that step. Keep going. Take one step after the other. Check off the things you've
already done. Your job is to stay focused long enough to finish what you need to do.
3. Get It Done!
Don't give up when you're this close to the finish line!
Stick with it, and finish it up.
Check your work. Make sure your
homework is neat. Check for mistakes and fix any you find. If it's a project or a
book report, put on the finishing touches. Be sure your name is on it!
Be proud of a job well done. It's
OK to admire your work. Give yourself a compliment. "My book report turned out great!
And I really like the picture I did for the cover." It feels good to know you put
your best into something.
Put it where it goes. Put your homework
in the right folder. Make sure the folder is in your backpack. Put the backpack where
it belongs. Now you're DONE!
Ask for Help When You Need It
Being organized and focused seems easy for some kids.
But for others, like kids with ADHD,
it's not easy at all. Everyone can get better at these skills. Sometimes, it just
takes a little more practice and a little help from other people.
Ask a parent or teacher to help you learn to organize
your things. They can help you set things up in ways that work for you. If things
get disorganized again, ask for their help to clean up. With practice and help, you
will become more organized.
If you have trouble focusing on homework or
getting yourself started, adults can help you with this too. Soon you'll get better
at doing it yourself.
Learning how to do homework well (and make it fun!) takes
practice. Be patient with yourself as you learn to organize, focus, and get it done.
The more you practice, the better you get at doing it.