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Help kids learn good homework habits

Hannah Francis, 8, 3rd grader, works on her

Hannah Francis, 8, 3rd grader, works on her homework, with some help from her older sister Niomi Francis, 12, 6th grader, at home in Manhattan. (Mar. 2004) Credit: Jiro Ose

Use your child's dominant sense to set up a workstation that will help him or her with homework:

* Tactile children will find it hard to sit down and are often distracted by the activity going on about them. Set up their homework station in an area of the house with little going on or use this time to work yourself -- paying bills, reading, etc. Be sure to work at something uninteresting to your child. They are children that like to join group activities, so if everyone is sitting at the table doing their homework, they will want to as well. Make sure your child has everything needed at hand, before starting homework. Tactile children jump at the excuse of finding a pencil or looking for the right book, as a reason to get up and wander around.

* Homework for visual children can be a time to use all their special pencils, pads and stationery, the ones too special to take to school. They will appreciate having their own desk and homework space, organized especially to their liking. Try to have this space sacred and not accessible to little siblings who may leave their marks. Make use of visual aids, such as times table posters and spelling charts, as well as wall calendars, stickers and ostit notes to help remind them: when assignments are due, what needs to be memorized, what to bring back to school.

* Auditory children need a quiet area, one free from the sound of TV and other auditory distractions. Before asking them to sit down and do their homework, however, they will need to have an auditory release by talking about their day, listening to their favorite music or chatting on the telephone. The use of a tape recorder is a great memorizing tool for your auditory child. Have record what needs to be memorized.

* Taste-and-smell children can tend to dillydally with homework. What should take 10 minutes will often still not be done 30 minutes later!These children find it hard to concentrate on schoolwork once they've left the school environment.To help, consider having them join a school homework club or going to the library after school. Alternatively, taking the time to sit down and go through their homework assignments before they start will help keep them focused.


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