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The Home in Homework
       Much of a student's success depends on homework.  How can we as parents encourage good homework habits? Let's look at five necessities for homework.

1. Time.  Grade school students' homework varies greatly from year to year.  By fifth grade, they should be spending at least 45 minutes a day studying at home.  In middle school, home study time usually lasts about 1 1/2 hours.  In high school, it's usually around two hours.  In college, the expectation is two hours outside of class for every hour in class.  Be sure life is balanced enough that the students in your home have sufficient study time.

2. Space.  A good study place is free of distractions like TV, radio, and telephones.  Many students prefer  to study in their  rooms, but the bed is not the best environment.  Students concentrate better when at a desk or table.

3. Quiet.  Some students cannot focus in absolute silence and find that some background noise helps.  They key is non-distracting background noise.  Music is fine as long as there are no words to sing along with.  The noise of a  fan or air filter often provides a good buffer against distracting sounds.

4. Supplies.  If a student has to keep interrupting his/her work to get
supplies, he/she wont get much done.  Be sure the supplies are available at your student's study place.

5. Skills.  Some students study for hours at a time but their grades don't reflect it.  Other students just don't know what to do when it's time to study.  They are expected to study but they are rarely taught how.  Be sure your child know how to maximize his/her learning style to increase studying efficiency.  
       Many parents have found great success by having an hour or two of work time in the evening with the TV off and the answering machine on.  Parents pay bills, read the paper, or write letters while students work on homework or read.  Do what you can to make your home a positive learning environment.

     --Gina Johnson, Study Smart, Inc.

© 2000 -2005, Study Smart, Inc.

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