Q: Something else that increases with higher grades is homework and the need to study. How do kids establish good homework habits if they struggle staying focused/disciplined?
A: Research has shown that homework plays a critical role in helping children understand concepts and practice what they learned at school. Homework routines help children stay focused and obtain good grades throughout their education, as well as accomplish other less engaging tasks they may face in life. Some students may find it challenging to stay focused while working on their assignments. They may be distracted by their surroundings, social media or they may be experiencing significant difficulties with school and learning. It is important to help children in developing a homework routine. Research shows that the mind works best early in the morning. The child may decide to go to sleep early and wake up in the morning to complete homework or do it after coming back from school. Taking a shower or a nap after school before engaging in homework can help a child regaining mental strengths and energy. It is best for a child to complete homework in the designed homework area that is well lit and far from distractions. It is wise to put away all things that can be distracting while completing homework, such as cellphones, ipads or other electronic gadgets. Research shows that it takes up to 20 minutes to go back on the task that was interrupted! Children who are struggling academically may benefit from some breaks, chunking assignments, further explanations and tutoring. Some children may benefit from a psycho-educational assessment to better understand their profile of strengths and weaknesses as the school may need to provide them with extra help.