Organising Your Homework Is To Listen

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en españolCómo organizar los trabajos y las tareas de la escuela

Learning how to get organized, stay focused, and get things done are must-have skills when it comes to managing your schoolwork. Beyond helping you get good grades, these skills help you in just about everything in life. The more you practice, the better you'll get.

Get Organized

Organize Your Stuff. Being organized makes everything else easier. It helps you get to work faster without wasting time looking for stuff.

Keep your assignments and class information organized by subject. Put them in binders, notebooks, or folders. If you find yourself stuffing loose papers in your bag or grabbing different notebooks for the same class, it's time to stop and reorganize!

Clean out your backpack regularly. Decide where to keep returned assignments and things you want to hold on to. Offload things you no longer need to carry around.

Organize Your Space. You need a good workspace — someplace quiet enough to focus. It's best to work at a desk or table where you can spread out your work. Have a place set aside for homework. That way, when you sit down, your mind knows you're there to work and can help you focus more quickly.

Organize Your Time. Use a planner or organization app to keep track of your schoolwork:

  • Write down all your assignments and when they're due.
  • Break big projects into parts. Note the dates when each part needs to be completed. Mark in your planner when you'll work on each part.
  • Mark the dates you'll have tests, then make a note of when you'll study for them. Don't leave things until the last minute — you'll only end up working twice as hard to do half as well. One sure way to reduce test anxiety is to prepare by studying (really!).
  • Enter other activities on your calendar — such as team practices, drama rehearsals, plans with friends, etc. This helps you see ahead of time when things might get too busy to get all your work done. Use your planner to schedule what time you'll do your schoolwork on days you have other activities.

Get Focused

Avoid Distractions. When you multi-task you're less focused. That means you're less likely to do well on that test. Park your devices and only check them after your work is done.

Some people concentrate best when it's quiet. Others say they study best if they listen to background music. If you study with music on, make sure it isn't going to sidetrack you into singing the lyrics and dancing all over your room. If you find yourself reading the same page over and over, it's a clue that the music is a distraction, not a help.

Take Breaks. Taking a short break between assignments can help your mind stay fresh and focused.

Get up from your desk, move, stretch, or walk around to clear your head. Allow your mind to absorb what you've just studied. Break time is when you can put on a song that makes you dance and sing! Just make sure you get back to your studies in a few minutes.

Refocus Yourself. If you find yourself getting distracted and thinking about other things, pull your attention back into study mode as soon as possible. Remind yourself that now it's time to stay on task.

Get It Done!

Stay focused as you do the final steps and details. Encourage yourself — you're almost at the finish line! Check your completed work. Put your work into the right folder or binder. Pack up your backpack for tomorrow. Now you've got it DONE.

In summary, here's a quick checklist of things that can help you organize, focus, and get it done:

  • DO know your deadlines.
  • DO make a calendar of stages and final due dates.
  • DO include social events on this calendar for time management.
  • DO understand the assignment and expectations.
  • DO give yourself a quiet place to study with all the materials you need.
  • DO give yourself brief breaks.
  • DON'T put work off until the last minute; you'll be too frantic to focus.
  • DON'T do your homework late at night or in bed.
  • DON'T let yourself be bored. Find the aspect of the project or paper that interests you. If you're dying of boredom, something's not right.

If you need more tips on staying focused, ask a teacher, school counselor, or a parent for help. It's their job to assist in your learning.

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en españolLos diez mejores consejos sobre los deberes escolares

Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.

Of course, helping with homework shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!

Here are some tips to guide the way:

  1. Know the teachersand what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's teachers. Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.
  2. Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
  3. Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.
  4. Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there's an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.
  5. Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)
  6. Make sure kids do their own work. They won't learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it's a kid's job to do the learning.
  7. Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.
  8. Set a good example. Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Kids are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.
  9. Praise their work and efforts. Post an aced test or art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.
  10. If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about it with your child's teacher. Some kids have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others might need an evaluation for a learning problem or attention disorder.

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