9 tips that can help your child focus and finish their homework
Having trouble getting your child to finish their homework? Is their focus wavering? Are they getting distracted? Here are some tips that can help.
Allocate a time for homework
If your child gets homework every day, have him work on it at the same time every day [Though homework every day seems like a lot!!]. Make it earlier in the evening rather than later. As the time approaches, get them prepared for it.
If it is on the weekend. make it Saturday morning. You can tell them that if they get their homework done, they can have the rest of the weekend to do all the things they want to do.
Plan with the child on what they can do after homework
Motivation comes in many forms. Discuss with the child, what she will do after the homework. Once they know what they will be doing after homework, it will motivate them to finish their work.
Put the study area in a quiet corner
Setup the study desk or work area in a quiet corner where distraction like TVs, or people walking around are not distracting your child. Give him less reasons to look up from his work and observe other distractions.
Make the study area well lit
Ensure there is adequate light where they are working. Low light can cause them to get distracted and daydream.
Remove any distractions from the study area
Before your child starts her work, remove any distractions from the study area like toys, storybooks etc., Do not keep anything within arm's reach.
Before they start, ask them to tell you what they need to do
How many times have we parents gone to the child after some time has passed, only to find them sitting around saying "I don't understand this problem or this question"? Combat this early and ask them before they start, what they need to do. If they do not know, ask them to open up their bag, find the homework, read the instructions and tell you what they will have to do.
Check the equipment
Before they start, confirm with them that they have all the equipment they need - from pencils to any special instruments - and that they are all in working condition. Check in a few minutes after they have started work, to verify that things are still working.
Find a good excuse to keep walking by them
This helps in two ways. If they are stuck, they will ask you when they see you. If they are not focused, your visit will put them back on track.
Separate the siblings or not!
If you have multiple children and they all have homework, you can have them work near each other or separately. It depends on your children. Some work very well together while some distract each other to no end. You may walk in only to find out that they have been yapping away for the last 30 minutes about something that happened in school with not a care about their homework. Try it out and see what works for you.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Working memory is the system which actively holds multiple pieces of transitory information in the mind when needed for verbal and nonverbal tasks such as reasoning and comprehension, and to make them available for further information processing. It is not the same as short term memory. Working memory tasks are tasks which require monitoring or manipulation of information or behaviors as part of directed action to a goal, in the face of interfering processes and distractions. The cognitive processes needed to achieve this include the executive and attention control of short-term memory which provide for the interim integration, processing, disposal, and retrieval of information. These processes are sensitive to age; working memory is associated with cognitive development and research shows that its capacity tends to decline with old age. Working memory is a theoretical concept central both to cognitive psychology and neuroscience. In addition, studies done on a neurobiological basis have proven that working memory can be linked to learning and attention.
Theories exist both regarding the theoretical structure of working memory and the role of specific parts of the brain involved in working memory. Research identifies the frontal cortex, parietal cortex, anterior cingulate, and parts of the basal ganglia as crucial. The neural basis of working memory has been derived from lesion experiments in animals and functional imaging upon humans.
There is now extensive evidence that working memory is linked to key learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy. A longitudinal study confirmed that a child's working memory at 5 years old is a better predictor of academic success than IQ.
The information needs to enter working memory before it can be stored into long-term memory. E.g. in vision, the speed with which information is stored into long-term memory is determined by the amount of information that can be fit, at each step, into working memory . In other words, the larger the capacity of working memory for certain stimuli, the faster these materials can be learned.
In a large-scale screening study, one in ten children in mainstream classrooms were identified with working memory deficits. The majority of them performed very poorly in academic achievements, independent of their IQ. Without appropriate intervention, these children lag behind their peers. A recent study of 37 school-age children with significant learning disabilities has shown that working memory capacity at baseline measurement, but not IQ, predicts learning outcomes two years later. This suggests that working memory impairments are associated with low learning outcomes and constitute a high risk factor for educational underachievement for children. In children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, and developmental coordination disorder, a similar pattern is evident.
In a classroom, common characteristics of working memory impairment include a failure to remember instructions and an inability to complete learning activities. Without early diagnosis, working memory impairment negatively impacts a child's performance throughout their scholastic career.
However, strategies that target the specific strengths and weaknesses of the student's working memory profile are available for educators.
Research suggests a close link between the working memory capacities of a person and their ability to control the information from the environment that they can selectively enhance or ignore. Such attention allows for example for the voluntarily shifting in regard to goals of a person's information processing to spatial locations or objects rather than ones that capture their attention due to their sensory saliency (such as an ambulance siren). The goal directing of attention is driven by "top-down" signals from the PFC that bias processing in posterior cortical areas and saliency capture by "bottom-up" control from subcortical structures and the primary sensory cortices. The ability to override sensory capture of attention differs greatly between individuals and this difference closely links to their working memory capacity. The greater a person's working memory capacity, the greater their ability to resist sensory capture. The limited ability to override attentional capture is likely to result in the unnecessary storage of information in working memory, suggesting not only that having a poor working memory affects attention but that it can also limit the capacity of working memory even further. (low attention <=> low working memory).
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_memory
Thats a good tips. Especially the work out on Saturday mornings. I think thats the best time kids can finish their homework plus study. Kids should not be forced to do homework/study when they dont like to do it at that particular time. They should love what they are doing! Atleast this can be controlled by parents.