Tips From An Orange County Private Tutor: How to Handle Massive Amounts of Homework
One of the most common complaints an Orange County private tutor receives from parents and students involves the massive amounts of homework given at a younger age (even as early as 1st and 2nd grade). More homework means less time for socializing, family time, extracurricular activities, and exercise which leads parents to wonder how they will be able to help their children achieve a study-life balance and still keep their education and grades on par with their peers.
1. Get organized
Although organization won’t make homework go away, it can certainly help make it easier. Young kids generally spend too much time digging through papers from months past and are confused as to which assignments are due tomorrow and which are not due until next week. Maintaining an organized backpack and homework folder can make the transition from school to homework easier and more effective. Although it’s important for children to learn how to organize on their own at some point, younger children may need help from a parent or tutor to organize their backpack once a week or so (READ: “10 Study Tips From an Irvine History Tutor”).
2. Conference with the teacher
It’s always a good idea for parents to take the opportunity to speak with their child’s teacher during conference time. This is an opportunity to ask the teacher why they are assigning large amounts of homework. Is each piece of homework essential to the child’s education? Some teachers will provide take-home packets that build upon a concept to be covered later in the month, making the assignments paramount, while others will hand out busy work to help keep kids out of trouble (sometimes at the request of parents). Additionally, some teachers give out more homework than they used to in order to help children succeed on their standardized tests later in the year.
Regardless, at the end of the academic year, teachers look back at what worked in a classroom and what didn’t. If they received overwhelming feedback that there was too much homework, they might adjust their syllabus and curriculum for the following year. However, if they don’t receive feedback from parents they may not know their students are overly stressed. Communication between teacher and parent is essential for continued success (READ: “SAT and AP Exam Survival Guide”).
Parents should look at what their child needs to do most and what they might be able to do later in the day when they are a bit tired. For instance, if a child is struggling in English but is an expert in science, it’s better for them to do their difficult English homework right after school while their mind is still fresh. On the other hand, if they know their math times tables like the back of their hand, they may be able to quickly and successfully complete his homework later in the evening even if they are feeling mentally fatigued.
4. Hire a tutor
Second to test prep, homework help is probably the most requested subject for tutors. Many private tutors can provide help with any subject up to a certain grade level, meaning that they might be able to help a 3rd grader with any topic they happen to need help with on a given day. Private Irvine academic tutors can also help a student get organized and help them streamline their homework to make sure they’re not doing more than is required. For example, if a child has done questions 1-50 in their math text book, but later find out that they only needed to do all of the even numbers from 1-50, they will have spent twice as much time as was necessary. Homework help tutors know to look for these types of issues right away.
At the end of the day, parents know what’s best for their children and they know how much homework their kid can handle and how to help them find a study-life balance. However, it never hurts to consult a tutor or conference with their child’s classroom teacher to find out new and innovative ways to complete the large amounts of homework expected of young children these days.
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