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How to manage your homework - advice for students and parents

At Bishop Perowne, we are passionate about helping our students be the best they can be, both as individuals, and academically. We strive to set high quality homework assignments which expand students' learning and promote self-management skills.

While homework has a reputation for being a source of frustration and tension, it doesn't have to be. We've put together some tips which we hope will support both students and parents in developing effective homework habits.

Create a distraction-free environment

TV, mobile phones and noisy siblings can all serve to create a distracting environment, which can really make it difficult to concentrate on homework.

How to manage your homework - advice for students and parents

It's a great idea for students and parents to talk to each other about how they can create an environment which aids focus. Whether that is setting up a work area away from the main living space, investing in noise cancelling headphones, turning off phones, or having a dedicated quiet hour at home.

Of course, it is not always possible to create a distraction-free environment at home. The after-school study spaces here at Bishop Perowne can really help students who struggle to get homework done in their home environment, or who find that they concentrate better at school.

Discuss time management

Establishing a set time for doing homework can really help to prevent procrastination and last-minute panics. Everyone works differently, so find a system that is useful for you. You might like to create a weekly homework timetable around other commitments, make a to-do list each day after school, or use the weekend to complete tasks for the week ahead. Parents and carers can have a discussion with their child about time management, and support them in creating a routine they can stick to.

Do the hardest tasks first

When you put off a difficult task, it can hang over you, create stress and make it more difficult to be productive on your other tasks. Completing the most difficult task first gives you a big motivation boost, because you know that all your tasks after that will be easier. You are also at your most alert when you first sit down to work, meaning you can put your full concentration on the task that needs it most.

If you a struggling to know where to start with a hard task, try breaking it down into manageable chunks.

Take breaks

It's really important to take regular, short breaks when you are doing homework. Taking break will help you to improve your cognitive functioning and avoid burnout. Moving from your chair, preparing a drink or getting some fresh air will make sure that you can go back to your task feeling refreshed and more able to concentrate.

It's okay to make mistakes!

If you're finding your homework difficult, it can feel frustrating. If you're struggling it's a good idea to look back at your classwork, as this can jog your memory if you are stuck on a particular problem. However, if you have tried your best and still think you haven't got it quite right, that's okay! We are here to help you learn, and your teachers want to know what you don't yet understand, so they can support you in the best way possible. Don't forget that you can always ask them for help.

For parents and carers, it's important to support your child in working problems out on their own, rather than doing work for them. It's okay if their homework isn't 100% correct, this will let their teachers know which topics students are finding difficult, and where pupils might need extra help.

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