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Want Outstanding Grades? Inculcate These 7 Homework Habits to Have the Best Report Card
The beginning of every school year can evoke mixed feelings in you. On one hand, you'd be super happy and extremely excited to see your friends again after a long summer break. And on the other hand, will set in that ever-so-familiar dread of being assigned copious amounts of homework all over again. In fact, it almost feels like a vicious circle now. Attend school. Get homework. Do it at home. Submit it. Get average grades. Repeat. Oh, the agony!
You almost feel like the burdensome task of homework is the reason behind your downward spiraling grades. You blame your teachers, your school, your parents, the education system and almost the entire world for your average to poor performance. But what you forget to blame are your lousy homework habits. Which, in all likelihood, are the biggest culprits, to begin with anyway. To tell you the truth, it’s not your homework but your homework habits that have a major impact on your scores in the classroom. Poor habits to be precise.
What is the connection between the two, you ask? It’s not rocket science. It’s pretty simple really. Just read through what we have to say, and the relation among these two would be clear to you.
The Not-so-inscrutable Relationship between Homework Habits and Good Grades explained
A recent study was carried out by Dr. Harris Cooper, who is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA. He, along with his colleagues, performed a thorough research through the years 1987 to 2003 to determine the effect of homework on the test performances of students.
He and his team made a comparison of two sets of students - one set comprised of students who were assigned homework and the other set comprised of those who were not given any homework by their teachers.
What he found out comes as no surprise. His research revealed that those who had done their homework correctly and regularly, scored way better in their tests at the end of the term than those who did not. Obviously, submission of wrong homework will not make a difference as that shows you haven't really learned anything at all.
This study also found out that the relation between the time spent on doing homework and the grades achieved as a consequence had higher significance among high school students in comparison to elementary students. The reason behind this is that elementary school students do not have well-defined study habits, which is why the impact of homework on their grades cannot be that substantial.
Besides the above, the research also promulgates the optimum study hours that should be a part of every student’s daily schedule. For high school students, Harris says, time contributed to doing homework each day should be a minimum of 90 minutes and should not exceed 2 and a half hours in any case. If it does, the purpose of giving homework (to help you learn better) would be completely defeated.
So as you can see, your homework habits have a major role to play when it comes to your test scores. It’s time to buckle up and rectify your habits before it’s too late.
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. We’ve got that covered. In the next section of our blog, you will come across the most effective homework habits that can bring about a radical change in your academic performance.
Homework Habits That Students Who Get Straight ‘A’ Religiously Follow
Yes, we know you’re not the nerdy kid with that geeky pair of specs, and following a homework regime at this moment seems alien to you. You’d rather spend all your time doing cool stuff and give your homework to your dog than actually sit down to do it. But at the same time, you're tired of your parents nagging you and are really fed up of getting a C or even a D on everything.
So you’ll sit down at your desk and prepare yourself for a long, almost endless grueling homework session. Well, you don’t have to do that. We mean, you have to do your homework of course, but it needn’t be this much of a pain or this time-consuming.
By inculcating effective homework habits, you'll find yourself zooming through that essay or math problem, and you'd even be able to remember whatever you've learned. The best part? The effect of these habits will reflect positively on your grades.
Here’s a list of the most useful homework habits that are bound to get you a high scoring report card -
1. Always, always do your Homework at a Fixed Time
This brings about regularity and helps to save you from procrastination. By sticking to a strict schedule, homework will become an integral part of your routine, and your body and mind will not face any difficulties in acclimatizing itself to this habit. You'll be mentally prepared to face this task from beforehand and thus, will be able to eliminate the feeling of dread and paranoia that you normally associate with your homework. Don’t worry about occasional lapses in your schedule. They will not be able to disrupt your routine permanently. Just get back to your old regularity as soon as the reason for the lapse has been removed.
2. Organize (and decorate) your Homework Den
This is your no disturbance zone, and nobody will be allowed to encroach upon its bounds without your permission. Decorating your study den can also give you creative license and make the task of doing your homework more fun. You can put up posters of your favorite fictional characters, movie stars or music artists to make it feel like an exciting place rather than a dull one. Part of creating your homework space is stocking it up with all things necessary (and even destocking the unnecessary items for that matter). Load up on planners and post-its so that you can organize your tasks according to subjects and order of priority. Remember to update your planner everyday so that you know which tasks are done and which are not.Apart from that, also stock up on stationery and books that’ll come in handy, organizing them in a proper manner (either alphabetical or subject-wise) so that they are easily accessible. Try to make your study room in a TV and smartphone-free zone, and throw out any unnecessary junk. This’ll prevent you from getting distracted easily when you’re working. And when you’re not distracted, you tend your finish your work much faster. So you may be able to catch the latest episode of your favorite TV show after all.
3. Compete with yourself by Setting Goals Each Day
They say the best kind of competition is self-competition. And we firmly believe in that. When you sprinkle a dash of competitive spirit into your daily homework regime, you actually motivate yourself to get better at the respective subject. This can particularly be helpful for subjects you’re weak in. To make things more interesting, we suggest that you throw in a timer as well to see if you can accomplish your task within a set time frame. If you do, it’ll give a great boost to your confidence. If you don’t, don’t stress. Just take it in a healthy spirit and move on to the next task.
4. Make your Homework Fun and Less Stressful
“My life is a black hole of boredom and despair."
"So basically you've been doing homework."
"Like I said, black hole.”
― Kiersten White, Supernaturally
Yes, yes. We know that’s exactly how you feel when you even listen to the word ‘homework.’ But that doesn’t mean homework can’t be fun. There are several ways you can do that. You can set up some soft, ambient music in the background that can help you de-stress while not hampering your concentration. You can make your math homework more interesting by taking a 5 minute Sudoku break or you can up the excitement quotient on your English homework by doing the crossword in the middle. Alternatively, you can bring in some cool phone apps to assist you with your homework so that it seems much less boring and much more exciting. Apps that you can make use of include iHomework, My Gradebok, StudentLife Organizer, etc. Since we’ve already mentioned about competition, another way you can turn your homework into a fun activity is by rewarding yourself. If you complete your set task for the day, give yourself a chocolate or something else you like. However, if you're going to treat yourself to unhealthy food as a reward for your hard work, ensure that you don't make eating junk food a habit.
5. Do not Compromise on your Health
No matter how much homework you get, if you put your health in the backseat to complete it, all your effort would be wasted. This is because your body and mind will soon get tired which will result in wrong answers in your notebook. Not only that, you won’t remember anything you’ve learned since you’ll suffer from a lack of focus due to an exhausted mind and body. Plus, when you attend class the next day, you’d constantly be slumping in your seat, listening to your teacher’s lectures with half-open eyes and a blank mind. This is definitely not going to help your grades at the end of the term. Instead of following such a damaging routine, take a leaf out from a good student’s book and do what he does. This means sleep 8-9 hours a day and eat healthy food. Take some time out to exercise (or indulge in any other physical activity) too since it’ll help refresh your brain so that it can concentrate better when it gets down to work. You can gradually include these changes in your routine and make them a habit.
6. Do Not try to do the Homework of all the Subjects at One Go
Cramming different subjects into one single study session is a big no-no. And all-nighters are a really bad idea. Your mind would be a jumbled mess and may even mix-up information, making it harder to remember that one single answer when you need it the most. The simplest solution to this problem? Study in subject-specific breaks. For example, if you have a daily homework schedule of about 90 minutes, divide your time into 30 minute equal blocks with each block dedicated to a different subject. This way you'll retain everything you learn, and you'll be well on your way to being a successful student. Just remember to take a break of 10 minutes between each block so that your mind can process the information and remember everything it just learned. Also, you can try starting with the subject you find most difficult.
7. Defeat the Monster of Procrastination
Procrastination is pure evil. And it’s a tempting evil at that, trying to take you further and further away from the righteous path of doing your homework on time. We understand it’s not easy to sit down to do your homework, especially when a friend calls to tell he’s going out to play. Even if that’s not the scenario, procrastination still almost always wins just because you don’t like the subject or are inherently lazy. Urge yourself to get up and up work when procrastination strikes. This is because if you procrastinate long enough, you’d be rushing with your homework and hence won’t be learning anything at all. In fact, you'll make more errors as you work be rushed up.
So these were some truly fruitful homework habits that you can make a part of your daily routine. Apart from these, successful students plan ahead and study in groups to enhance their performance in academics. You should do these things too if you truly want to get the best grades in your class.
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