A student’s success isn’t only dependent on what they do in the classroom—homework matters, too! So how can you ensure that you are helping your student build a solid foundation for learning? Creating a good study environment is a critical component of success.
By the time students reach high school, they have already learned good and bad study behaviors. As a parent or guardian, you can help your high schooler make or break positive habits by providing the knowledge and tools needed to build an effective homework space tailored just for them.
Not sure where to start? Here are four proven ways to help your high school student create an excellent homework environment.
1. Choose the Right Location
Location is everything when it comes to building effective homework and study strategies. Help your student select a homework space that is quiet, well-lit, and free from major distractions. High schoolers are getting into more serious work that requires more profound thought, such as AP Capstone programs, so their environment needs to be conducive to focusing for long periods.
Remember that homework spaces don’t necessarily need fancy or include expensive desks or chairs. But it’s essential to provide a place in your home where your student has room to work. At a minimum, the ideal homework area should include:
- A flat, spacious surface for spreading out books and papers
- Plenty of light
- Outlets for charging (if your student uses a laptop or iPad)
- A space for supplies
Even if you don’t or can’t have a dedicated homework desk in your home, encourage your high schooler to designate an area just for studying. Even the kitchen table is a more effective homework location than a couch or a bed. Choose a space that’s easily differentiated between work and play.
2. Create Consistency
With schedules of sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities, a high school student’s life can be hectic—and that can make it challenging to find a consistent place and time to get homework done.
Whenever you can, help provide the consistency that is beneficial to student success. Work as a family to craft a routine that works for everyone, to help your high schooler create the focused atmosphere they need to finish their work to the best of their ability.
3. Minimize Distractions
Technology is ubiquitous today, and for students trying to accomplish their homework, that’s both a benefit and a drawback. How can parents help minimize distractions when students access computers, tablets, video games, and smartphones?
In addition to encouraging kids to unplug while doing homework, parents can be mindful of other potential household distractions—younger siblings, pets, or even a TV show playing in the background.
4. Encourage Organization
Developing organizational skills is critical for high schoolers as they learn to juggle workloads from a robust college-prep curriculum, including English, mathematics, religious studies, and more. You can help with this by providing simple organizational tools that aid in productivity. A planner or calendar is a great place to start.
You can also encourage your teen to keep their homework zone neat and orderly. Remind them to make sure they have all of the tools they need before they begin working and help them find a way to organize their tools such as pens and pencils, highlighters, spare paper, calculator, etc.
Promote Sustained Success by Creating an Effective Homework Environment for Your Student
You may be tempted to think that high school students already have that whole “homework” thing covered. But as students’ academic responsibilities become more rigorous, homework and studying become more important than ever. Help ensure your student’s success by doing what you can to provide an excellent homework environment.
When parents help their children develop a functional space to complete homework and encourage them to attend a suitable college-prep private high school that will build upon their academic foundation, they promote their child’s future success in college and beyond.
If your child is bright, ambitious, and ready to tackle challenges, register for our virtual tour and information session and begin assessing if Paraclete High School is the right fit for your child.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 5, 2017, and has been updated for accuracy and current best practices.