4 Ways to Make Homework Easier
Homework can seem overwhelming at times, especially in high school. One of the biggest challenges of being a high school student is learning how you work best — and this can look a little different for everyone.
Luckily, you can try many different strategies to find what works best for you.
1. Create a Homework Plan
Understand the assignment. Write it down wherever you keep track of your assignments, such as a notebook or an app on your phone. Don't be afraid to ask questions about what's expected. It's much easier to ask the teacher during or after class than to struggle to remember later that night. Consider asking your teachers how long they expect specific assignments to take.
Start as soon as you can. Use any free periods during your school day to start your homework. If you don’t have any free periods, take a few minutes to look at all your assignments during school so you have a chance to ask questions before you go home.
Budget your time. It’s normal for students to have a few hours of homework a night. If it's a heavy homework day, you'll need to devote more time to it. Try to come up with a homework schedule, especially if you're involved in extracurriculars or have an after-school job.
2. Find a Good Place to Work
When you settle down to study or do homework, where do you do it? Parked in front of the TV? In the kitchen, with other family members distracting you? Maybe these places worked when you were younger and homework was simpler, but your homework is probably more complicated now.
Find a place to focus. You'll do best if you can find a place to get away from distractions, like a bedroom or study. If your house is noisy no matter where you go, try searching online for study music, anything you find relaxing or inspiring. This can help drown out noise in your environment — just be mindful of the volume so you don’t hurt your ears.
Make sure you feel comfortable. Sit at a desk or table that’s comfortable, or try spreading out on the floor. It’s usually best to avoid your bed because you might get sleepy or have trouble sleeping later on. As long as you find a spot where you feel comfortable (and not tired), you’ll be able to focus.
3. Get to Work
Get in the right mood. If you start working while you feel stressed out, anxious, or otherwise in a bad mood, you may not get much done. Try practicing a mindfulness or breathing exercise before getting started, even just for a few minutes. These will help you focus better.
Decide where to start. Some people like to start with the easy assignments to get them out of the way, while others prefer to tackle the more challenging assignments first. Consider which strategy will work better for you. Try both and see if you notice a difference.
Keep moving. If you get stuck, try to figure out the problem, but don't spend too much time on it because you need time for your other assignments. If you need to, ask someone for help, like an adult or sibling. You could also text a classmate — just do your best to stay on topic.
Take breaks. Most people have short attention spans. Sitting for too long without stretching or relaxing will make you less productive than if you stop every so often. Taking a 15-minute break every hour is a good idea for most people. (If you're really concentrating, wait until it's a good time to stop.)
4. Get Help When You Need It
Even when you pay attention in class, study for tests, and do your homework, some subjects may still seem too hard. Don’t be afraid to ask for homework help — from teachers, counselors, friends, or family members. They'll respect your honesty and most are happy to help.