How to Tackle Homework in the Middle School Years

Easy ways to help your tween conquer homework challenges

There is a certain science to helping tweens tackle their homework assignments successfully. Consider the following tips when your child just can't seem to deal with homework, middle school and completing at-home assignments.

Create a Space

Teenage boy doing homeworks.
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A good study environment is necessary for all students, but what constitutes a productive learning environment will vary from tween to tween. Your tween may need a quiet location in which to study, but some students desire and need a little background noise in order to concentrate. In addition, make it clear that phone calls and texting friends during homework time is not allowed, unless they're discussing or troubleshooting the assignment. Also, stock a supply box with any items your child might need throughout the school year, including pens, pencils, colored markers, calculators, protractors, paper, glue, tape, and scissors.

Find a Routine

Tweens often find that their schedules change when they enter middle school. It's a good idea to develop a routine to help with homework, middle school demands and other demands on your child's day. Once you find a routine that works, stick with it. Some tweens may need down time after school before they attempt any assignments. Other tweens might prefer to tackle homework, middle school projects, and reading assignments right away.

Buy an Organizer

If your child doesn't have an organizer you'll need to provide one. Show your tween how to use the organizer in order to keep track of daily assignments. Help your tween establish a procedure for tracking short as well as long-term assignments. A good organizer will make it easy to keep up-to-date on homework, middle school functions, after-school activities, family activities and doctor's appointments. When tweens know how to keep track of events, demands, and activities, they can manage their time more efficiently.

Keep Resources

Encourage your tween to bring home quizzes, tests, and course books. These resources will not only help your tween, but may also help you in case you have to tutor your child. You can also help your tween tackle homework, middle school projects and troubleshoot difficult subject material through on-line homework assistance websites. Many sites offer simple tutorials on various subjects, and are worth checking out if both you and your tween need occasional assistance.

Review Assignments

Review your tween's homework to make sure your child understood the assignment and followed through correctly. At this point your child should be tackling his homework, middle school projects and other responsibilities by himself, but that doesn't mean that you can't help him review, or check his work to make sure he's on the right track. There's a difference between doing the work for him and making sure he understands what he's learning.

Model Calm Behavior

It's important to keep your own emotions in check. It may be frustrating to watch your child struggle with an assignment, or take twice as long as necessary to complete his work. However, it's important to remain calm and offer positive advice. Anger, threats, and negative comments won't help the situation, in fact, it will likely make it worse.

Make it Fun

You can make homework, middle school projects and other school responsibilities more interesting for your tween by relating the problems to real life situations. For example, if your tween is practicing fractions, you can illustrate the problems with measuring spoons and cups. Be creative and use humor whenever you can to help make the assignments fun.

Offer Rewards

When homework is finished, reward your tween with a hug, a few minutes of computer time, or a snack.

If All Else Fails

If your tween continues to struggle with homework issues, a learning disability could be the cause. Consider seeking advice from your child's teachers or guidance counselor. Testing may be needed to determine if an underlying condition is prevention your child from achieving school success.

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