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Homework Helpers

It’s Back To School time again and everyone should be focused on doing there very best.

Kids, put away the video games and turn off the TV and pay attention in class everyday.  And remember to complete all homework assignments on time, participate in class and study hard for all the tests. Also read as many books as possible in your spare time.  If you want to do well in school and get A's and B's, this is what it takes. You have to want it and just do it. And guess what, now everybody knows it's cool to be a smart.

Parents, I am counting on you to get more involved with your child’s education and support them in any way you can.  Find ways to improve their home environment to make it more conducive to learning  and stay informed to what is happening at their school.  Also meet with your child’s teachers and prepare a plan of action for success for the coming year.  This is just the beginning, but listed below is some helpful information for students and their parents that will result in increased academic achievement and higher test scores.  Everyone, please read and follow through.Remember in order to achieve we must first believe … and then plan and act.

Kids Test Taking Tips

Do you sweat, chew your pencil, and feel butterflies in your stomach as your teacher hands out a test? A lot of people (adults included) get nervous when it’s time to take a test.

It’s natural to feel some stress about taking tests. In fact, sometimes a little adrenaline (a hormone made by your body during times of excitement or stress) is a good thing to jump-start you.

Here are some tips for taking tests:

First, be sure you’ve studied properly. It sounds like a no-brainer, but if you’re sure of the information, you’ll have less reason to be worried.

Get enough sleep the night before the test. Your memory recall will be much better if you’ve had enough rest. In a scientific study, people who got enough sleep before taking a math test did better than those who stayed up all night studying.

Listen closely to any instructions. As the teacher hands out the test, be sure you know what’s expected of you.

Read the test through first. Once you have the test paper in front of you, read over the entire test, checking out how long it is and all the parts that you are expected to complete. This will allow you to estimate how much time you have for each section and ask the teacher any questions. If something seems unclear before you start, don’t panic: ask.

Focus on addressing each question individually. As you take the test, if you don’t know an answer, don’t obsess over it. Instead, answer the best way you can or skip over the question and come back to it after you’ve answered other questions.

Relax. If you’re so nervous that you blank out, you might need a mini-break. Of course you can’t get up and move around in the middle of a test, but you can wiggle your fingers and toes, take four or five deep breaths, or picture yourself on a beach or some other calm place. As we all know, it can be easy to forget things we know well — like a locker combination. The difference is we know we’ll remember our locker combination because we’ve used it hundreds of times, so we don’t panic and the combination number eventually comes back. During a test, if you blank out on something and start to get tense, it suddenly becomes much more difficult to remember.

Finished already? Although most teachers will let you hand a test in early, it’s usually a good idea to spend any extra time checking over your work. You also can add details that you may not have thought you’d have time for. On the other hand, if you have 5 minutes until the bell rings and you’re still writing, wind up whatever you’re working on without panicking. These tips should help most people, but some can get serious test-taking terror. If you’re one of them, you may need to talk to a parent, teacher, or counselor for help.

For more information and Homework Help Tips resources visit www.kidshealth.org.

Homework Tips for Parents

  1. Show an interest in your child’s homework assignments. Ask about the subjects and the work to be done.
  2. Be a role model -- take the opportunity to read a book or newspaper while your child studies. Reading together helps create a learning atmosphere.
  3. Teach your child how to be organized. Be sure he or she keeps a homework assignment book.
  4. Eliminate as many distractions as possible during study time.
  5. Develop a strategy for dealing with homework. Find a plan that works for your family and stick with it.
  6. Try to relate the homework to your child’s everyday life. For instance, fractions and measurements can be learned as the child prepares a favorite food.
  7. Encourage your child to establish a regular time to do homework. Developing a schedule might help avoid procrastination.
  8. Meet with your child’s teacher to discuss the nature of the approach to reading, spelling and other topics that your child is being taught.
  9. Make sure your child has a specific place to do homework that offers ample lighting, minimal noise and plenty of work space.
  10. Praise your child for successfully completing homework. Nothing builds self-esteem like praise from parents.

Reprinted with permission from the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (CCLD). Call 1-888-478-6463 for important resources and information about learning disabilities.

Homework Checklist for Parents

Provide a quiet, well-lit space, away from distractions and with all the right study materials -- paper, pens and pencils, books, a dictionary, a desk, etc.Try to find a separate space for each of your children, or schedule quiet times for homework in designated spaces.

Create a regular schedule, allowing for adequate study and free time.

Limit TV time, and do not allow it during homework.

When possible, be available to answer questions. Try doing a problem or two together, then watch as the child tries the next one.

Avoid simply giving an answer. Instead, ask questions that let your child see the problem in smaller, sequential steps.

Provide your kids with a notebook for writing down assignments. When they’re finished, compare the homework and the notebook to make sure everything is done.

See if the school has a homework hotline (that lists your child’s assignments) and/or a homework helpline (assistance for your child).

Review completed and graded assignments. Discuss errors to be sure your child understands the material.

Share any concerns with your children’s teachers about the amount or type of homework assigned. Be sure to let them know if your children are having difficulty or are unable to do most of it by themselves.

For more information and Homework Help Tips resources visit www.school.familyeducation.com

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