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Helping Teens with Schoolwork

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 4 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Helping Your Teen With Schoolwork

There are very few teens who can go to school to absorb a subject and master it completely without help. For most teens, schoolwork is a chance to explore subjects, practice new skills and get extra help when needed. Though it may be a drag, schoolwork is a necessity and there is much that parents can do to help their teens with schoolwork.

Help Your Teen Organise

Helping your teen organise is one of the most important steps you can take toward helping your teen with his/her schoolwork. Many teens become overwhelmed by the variety of assessments and examinations they are expected to complete and can’t understand how they are meant to get everything done. Supply your teen with a student diary and a calendar, sit down with him/her and:

  • Fill in final deadlines and exam dates.
  • Make up mini-deadlines such as “finish first draft” so that teens can break up big projects into manageable chunks.
  • Help them list out their nightly homework.
  • Manipulate nightly homework lists so that the harder projects can be completed first when your teen still has more energy and concentration.
  • Make a list of the supplies and resources teens will need for each assignment, and promise to help acquire these items as needed.

Supply a Proper Work Environment

Another way that parents can help their teens with schoolwork is to provide a proper work environment. If possible, teens should be able to work in a setting that:

  • Contains a desk and comfortable chair.
  • Has natural lighting, or is otherwise properly lit.
  • Is relatively cool, around 18 C.
  • Is quiet and away from televisions, video games and other distractions.
  • Has a door so that others do not need to interrupt your teen.

Supply Necessary Resources

Just as a teen needs a proper environment to do their work, (s)he may also need a variety of resources and reference materials to complete their assignments. As a parent, strive to provide your teen with:

  • A dictionary and thesaurus.
  • A calculator.
  • A computer for typing up papers, as well as a printer.
  • An Internet connection for research.
  • Pens, pencils and highlighters.
  • Folders and notebooks for organisation of notes and materials.

Discuss Your Teen’s Assignments

After your teen has become organised, settled into a proper workspace and made use of all of the needed reference materials and resources, you can still help him/her by discussing their assignments. Often teens need to talk through topics before they truly understand them, and sometimes they will understand more if they are able to apply a subject to a current event. Give your teen the time to explain their thoughts and apply them to issues affecting their own lives and no doubt they’ll achieve a deeper understanding of their subject.

Helping teens with schoolwork needn’t take a lot of time or effort. Parents who take the time to help their teen organise, supply a proper work environment and necessary resources and discuss their teens’ assignments will be helping their teens more than they know. Many parents worry that they will be unable to help their teen with subjects that they were not good at in school and if this is the case then just relax. No one knows everything, but showing your teen that you are willing to find out what you can will be a great boost – for both of you!

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