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Ten Homework Habits to Cultivate for the New School Year

With the new school year comes new opportunities to evaluate what went well last school year, and what areas could use some improvement. Homework completion is frequently mentioned by parents and teachers alike as something with which many students with dyslexia struggle. Read on for ten pro tips for successful homework completion.

Homework success starts at school!

Here are five habits that lead to homework success, and start before a backpack is ever packed for the trip home.

1. Get your assignments recorded in a way that works for you. Take a picture of the assignment board or write assignments in a notebook, but do get all the details down so you give your memory a break!

2. Understand what needs to be completed. Recording the assignment and understanding the work to be completed is not the same thing. Ask your teacher to listen as you verbalize your understanding of the assignment. Listen to understand if the teacher corrects your understanding of the work.

3. Have a correct example to go by when you are working at home. Ask to complete one problem and have it checked by the teacher, or ask them to jot down an example of a correctly completed question for you to use as an example. Teachers want to set you up for homework success, and most will gladly assist you.

4. Bring home all the materials you need to complete the assignment. Consider putting assignments into your backpack as the subject concludes and you are clear on what the homework is.

5. Organize the work to be completed so nothing is lost. A folder for to-be-completed work and another one for ready-to-hand-in work will avoid panicked backpack searches. Remind yourself that it takes less time to put homework in the appropriate folder than it does to search for them later.

How you work matters!

Here are five work-completion habits that help achieve homework you will be proud to turn in.

1. Choose where you will complete your work. An ideal location has enough space for you to spread out a bit. Pick a spot near whoever helps with homework, but not near things/ people you know distract you.

2. Empty your backpack and organize the work to be completed in stacks. Putting a small reward on top of each stack to be enjoyed after the task is completed can be fun and motivating. Maybe an Oreo, or maybe a 5-minute timer to go shoot baskets outside before returning to your next stack.

3. Before you start a task, estimate how much time it will take you to finish it well. Skim what has to be done, and pencil in how long you plan to spend on each part. This can help you avoid spending too much time on any one assignment and gives you an overview of what needs to be done. It also helps you be aware of time so you don’t waste it. As soon as you realize you are “stuck” and need help, go ask for it. Avoid the trap of wasting time on problems you need assistance to solve by getting help right away.

4. As homework is completed, move it to the hand-in folder of your binder. Before placing work in the binder, double check that your name and date are on each sheet.

5. The order in which homework is completed is completely up to the person completing it. Some like to tackle the most difficult assignment first, others like to get small, easy jobs out of the way first so fewer stacks of work remain on the work table.

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