How to Remember Homework
Is your child struggling to remember, complete, or turn in homework -- or maybe all three?
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing several effective strategies that have helped my students get back on track with homework.
First, we’ll focus on remembering to complete homework. Let’s talk about some of the major obstacles to remembering what homework exists in the first place and how your child can successfully conquer each of them.
Obstacle #1: There are so many places to look for homework, and your child doesn’t check them all.
It’s likely that your child has to pull from multiple resources. Homework can be announced verbally in class, written on the board, or posted on Managebac, on Google Classroom, on a class website, or sent through the Remind app.
Whew - it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin, but especially a child or teenager who still has a developing prefrontal cortex (the region of the brain that helps us plan, prioritize, and make decisions).
Solution #1: Help your child write down a complete guide to finding homework. It’s easy to forget to check a class website if you just leave it up to chance. Instead, plan for the reality that it’s easy to forget all of these things, and spend 15 minutes getting all of the resources on paper. I recommend writing down the name of each class and then answering these questions out to the side:
Where can I find information about this class? (Managebac, class website, Google Classroom…)
What kind of homework does this class have? How frequent is it? (Reading 30 minutes every day, study Quizlet 3 times per week…)
If you’d like a ready-to-go printable version of the kind of chart I use with students, click here.
If your child sees this sheet as just another task they have to do, it may be discouraging. Take advantage of the fact that most people love to help, and ask your child to fill in the role as the expert of their own school experience. This can be especially encouraging for a child who may often feel like they aren’t an expert in school.
Try something like, “Olivia, I want to better understand what school is like for you, and I’m having a hard time because things seem so complicated. Do you think you could help me by showing me all the places where you get your homework from? That way we can both use this chart to help us both understand what’s going on at school.”
Obstacle #2: Your child doesn’t have a system for remembering assignments. When students get out of school for the day, homework becomes out of sight, out of mind.
Solution #2: For your child to remember homework, they have to see it. My two favorite ways to help students visualize their work are agendas and phones -- and they work great together.
Paper agendas or calendars are great for planning for assignments. Once your child has completed the homework plan mentioned above, they should write their daily homework down - and then write down when they will actually complete it.
Example: Study Quizlet for Spanish - 4:00-4:15pm
Phones are great for setting reminders once the planning has happened on paper. If your child has soccer practice right after school and needs to remember to study for A.P. U.S. History afterward, they should set an alarm for 7pm with a label that says exactly what they will do (“make flashcards for New England colonies”).
Students may not be used to using a phone as a tool to help them with school, but it can be a powerful shift. One important strategy they must use for this to work is to always respect the alarm. If they see the notification and aren’t home yet or are busy with something else, they have to reset it to a later time at that moment -- or else it becomes another out of sight issue!
I hope these are helpful for your and your child. What obstacles does your child face in remembering homework? Comment below, and I will address your concerns in an future post -- I am here to serve you & help make learning peaceful & powerful.
Until next time,