So much in your life as a student is scheduled out for you, whether your school calendar, your sports, volunteering, club, church or community engagements, family activities – in many ways, when are you actually free? So, when you do actually have time that is within your control, creating a schedule that you author yourself may sound restrictive, but in fact, it is probably the most liberating act you can take. Since you have to do homework, and want to do well, what if you could follow a checklist that, once done, would signal to you, and your parents, that you did all you were supposed to do? Here are 5 tips to become a homework expert:
- Start with sleep: We know from neuroscience that memory, retention, and learning requires a well-rested brain, let alone your body’s need to rest for physical health, and so schedule when you plan to go to bed based on the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendation for at least 8 hours of sleep.
- Wind down: Working backwards, now incorporate at least one hour of downtime, more if you are younger (of course). Ideally, spend that time with family and not in front of a screen in your room.
- Mealtime: Figure out when you typically eat dinner, a time that usually splits most homework schedules right in half.
- Where to start?: Now, having determined your boundaries, select the first 2 subjects of your homework, picking the subjects with lowest grades, or your least favorite. This ensures you have the most amount of energy to do well, and not miss learning based on fatigue.
- When to start? To finish off the beginning of your schedule, recognize that after a long day of school, you may be tempted to rest and relax, whether with online streaming like Hulu, Netflix, or YouTube, check out social media, or text, and this is fine, but only for 30 minutes. Why? After that, you are losing momentum and time, two things you cannot get back.
With this checklist, you have reverse engineered the beginning of a schedule that will help you become a homework expert, which means you will be able to have enough time to get things done and be well rested. In the next blog chapter, let’s go into the school and explore what makes a better student.