Curb the late nights
For many students, homework is the biggest impediment to getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. Whether it’s procrastination, poor planning and time management, or an abundance of extracurriculars that lead to late nights, strengthening executive function skills can make a world of difference. Being able to set aside a block of time (45, 90+ minutes) to get homework done is optimal. However, with busy schedules, sometimes you’ve got to work with the time your child has available. Here are a few strategies:
Take a close look at your child’s extracurricular schedule and identify times each day before or between activities to make a dent in homework. Something done before or between activities is one less thing to have to get done later.
Set specific goals each day in the windows your child has available
Ask your child to set clear goals for their homework and study sessions each day during their windows of opportunity. This could include finishing a few math problems or reading a chapter of a book. Clear goals help students stay focused on the task at hand.
Try using a timer and working in short bursts during the available windows in your child’s schedule. For example, set a timer for 20 minutes and then another for a 5 minute break. Working in short bursts in a limited window helps with focus and, when taken in bite-sized chunks, makes homework feel less overwhelming.
Wind down before bed
Easier said than done, but when homework is completed earlier, it will allow for downtime which will lead to better sleep. Create a relaxing pre-sleep routine by limiting screen time before bed and engaging in calming activities like reading. Consider not allowing phones in bedrooms!
With a few more hours more of sleep, your child will be happier, more engaged, and enter the day with a spring in their step. They’ll also have more energy to carry them through their long day.