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Land the Helicopter and Other Hints for Homework Happiness

Sponsored editorial provided by Annapolis Pediatrics

The beginning of the school year is a stressful time for both parents and their children. Parents hurry through office supply stores to gather everything on those dreaded school supply lists, annoyed over the outrageous cost of three-ring binders while wondering whether their children will reach their academic potentials this year.

Meanwhile, their children grow anxious over the even greater challenges they see before them: another year of more difficult coursework and increasing expectations on their academic performance. And, if that wasn’t enough, the start of the school year marks the annual return of social stress for most students as they adjust to a whole new set of social dynamics. Autumn may be in the air, but it is a veritable springtime of stress! HelicopterMom

Perhaps worst of all, looming over both parents and students at the onset of school is the return of, yes, you guessed it: homework… But don’t despair! The start of the school year also represents a tremendous opportunity to set a positive path leading to year-round homework success. The rituals of summer have wiped the slate clean, and now is the time to establish healthy homework habits and patterns. Establishing those healthy homework habits is easier said than done of course. But keep in mind these pointers and you will be well on your way!

  • Get in the groove… Every child is different, so it is important to start by observing your children’s natural rhythms. Work with those rhythms, not against them. Some kids need time to decompress after school before beginning their homework, while others do better starting right away. Figure out when they work best, then make that the routine.
  • Location, location, location… find where in the house your children work best, and help them set it up so it works for them. Beanbag in the corner with a lap desk for writing on? Kitchen table with the binders all spread out? Sitting at your desk in the home office? Help them make it their space, where they go for homework every day.
    Feed the brain… Most children need a healthy snack so make sure those snacks are prepared and at the ready. Opening a bag of potato chips is very easy, but not very healthy, so make it even easier to reach for some carrot sticks or apple slices.
  • Turn off the TV… If your family has established a habit of having a TV on “in the background”, break out of that habit NOW. Homework just can’t compete with the kind of stimulation experienced by the human brain when faced with a TV. Or a cell phone. Put those far enough away so the beeps and dings and vibrations don’t provide a steady stream of tempting distractions for your children.
  • Land the helicopter… When it comes to homework, many parents hover way too much. Be nearby, ready to assist, but avoid the temptation to do the work for them or watch their every pen stroke. Find a habit of your own that puts you close but not too close to your child. Have one of those children that likes to work at the kitchen table? Then quietly prepare dinner while they work. Have one that prefers the beanbag in the corner? Then sit on the couch and read the paper or a novel.
    Using these basic ideas, work with your children now to establish healthy routines that will set a positive path for homework success all school year through!courtney casey

Courtney Casey, M.S. Academic Advisor for Educational and Wellness Services, LLC. Ms. Casey offers education consultation, advocacy services, organizational coaching, individual tutoring, summer enrichment classes, and more!  For additional information, call 443.332.6990 or email educationalwellness@yahoo.com. Sponsored editorial provided by Annapolis Pediatrics.

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