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Organisation: Homework

Updated on March 21, 2012
Bart Simpson - The Simpsons, Chalkboard
Bart Simpson - The Simpsons, Chalkboard

Traditionally most kids hate homework, in most cases not because they have anything more productive they could be doing, but because it takes time away from social media and relaxing. There are always prominent debates to whether homework is actually a positive or is learning should solely occur at school. Effort needs to be put into work at home otherwise the work that is done is useless, the way we learn is by trying hard and increasing the capacity of our memory and intelligence. The simple fact is that kids might not think that what they are doing in particular is useful but in actual fact is having many benefits. In my opinion to get through homework in the most successful and productive manner, organisation is the main key. Following these tips and advice will hopefully give light on how to work more effectively.

Attitude

Attitude is one of the biggest killers for students because with a positive working one nothing can be achieved. In order to work hard, achieve the goals you set and produce quality work, an encouraging and determined attitude will be what is required. First step that should be taken is to figure out what your goals, ambitions and aims are. This may not seem important but without these it will take way more time to complete what is required. One of the most common things I heard people say around my school when receiving back marked work or tests was, “at least it’s a pass.” In my opinion that is totally the wrong way to think about grading. It should not be that you’re satisfied with or aiming for a pass, you should be aiming to achieve the best result possible within your capabilities.

Firstly - I ask myself when going ahead with work is what I want to get out of it, a good mark, to impress teachers or peers with effort, some solid intelligence, or all three?

Secondly - I take notice of which class the work is set from and what priority is comes under. No subject should take entire preference over other subjects, this is because every subject requires effort of some degree. Recognize where you place roughly in individual classes and figure out where you want to be. This will help you decide which classed should be most devoted to. I always heard people talking about ‘bludge’ or easy subjects, their attitudes are that they don’t need to try because it is not required. You shouldn’t fall into this trap, say for example if it’s reasonably easy to get an A in a class, why should you settle for that? Impress your teacher and aim for a grade above, they will in most cases not get that many students who will put in an effort and in essence if they are impressed it will actually be reasonably easy to boost your mark and stand out among your peers. Never take an easy class as an option out, always put in the effort and be rewarded with better grades and good rapport with your teachers.

Lastly – try to enjoy classes you don’t particularly like. This may seem implausible but simply you will be more obliging to work harder, strive for better results and complete the tasks at hand. Without liking a class you will always have a sour attitude towards it and cannot achieve the best that you can.

Physical Organisation

How you organise for your homework can change whether actually get work handed in on time or have to be the one who tells your teacher “sorry, forgot we had to do it” every time you walk into class.

Make sure you record what your homework is for each night and when it is due to be handed in. This can be done using a diary (neatness helps to remain focused) or using a great program called Simple Sticky notes which lets you create notes on the desktop of your computer which can be edited easily and automatically save and re-appear when you turn your computer back on. This is great if you have a laptop for school use and can be downloaded at the link below. Also at home you can get a small whiteboard or chalkboard to write up that night’s plan. I have a small whiteboard and cork pin-board, both cost me about $5. Do not try and remember the homework you have set off the top of your head because half the time you will forget it.

http://www.simplestickynotes.com/

Simple Sticky Notes is a fantastic free program, in my opinion better than the standard windows stick notes
Simple Sticky Notes is a fantastic free program, in my opinion better than the standard windows stick notes

Planning:

  • Make sure if you don’t understand anything you learnt in class that will be required or useful for your homework, that you ask your teacher before you go home so you do not sit there not having any idea what to do.
  • Try and work yourself into a study routine if you are not already in one, make it so you do homework every night regardless of whether any was actually set. This will help you learn more effectively, and not forget if you actually have work set.
  • Finally if you know you have commitments on certain nights, make sure you are prepared! Even if you have days after the night with the commitment to do the work do it before so you don’t end up leaving it until the last minute.
  • One of the biggest consequences of not planning is that when it comes to the date to hand it work people panic and get others to send them the work. There are a few problems with this; it’s bad practise and will land you in bad habits, you may get done for plagiarism and(or) you will start to lose friends when you rely on them too much to do your work for you.
  • Make sure you have a clear orderly desk or work area with nice clear lighting that isn’t too bright or too dark. Try and have it so all your tools and stationary are close at hand so you aren’t always moving around searching for them.
  • It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because you have all day to do something even though it would only take an hour or two normally. It will end up taking all day because of the distractions at hand and will be of a lower grade quality than if it had only taken you a smaller amount of time. It is best unless totally required to think of the weekends as homework free time because when you have a lot of time, you tend to make poor usage of it.

Distractions

Distractions would have to be the worst things possible to stop productive working at home. That is one of the main arguments against homework that it is too hard to concentrate at home with the amount of distractions at hand. But I firmly believe with the right determination and will power any distractions can be blocked out.

Ensure that where you are working you will be in peace and no one is going to continually be bothering you. Ask your family to give you some space for a period of time where you can chew through your work.

Be in a room with no television, if this is not possible have it switched off and the remote a fair distance from where you are working. Also any other electronics that are not being used for the purpose of working should be moved away from the workspace or switched off.

Cold Turkey Home Page Screenshot shows the options for main websites to block and on another tab you can enter custom webpages.
Cold Turkey Home Page Screenshot shows the options for main websites to block and on another tab you can enter custom webpages.

The biggest setback for people trying to work at home is computers. It is understandable that they need to be used to complete work but there are hundreds of methods available to prevent yourself from becoming distracted. Firstly delete all the bookmarks from your bookmarks bar on your internet browser that aren’t needed at all for school work. This will help because when you go to use your internet to research or something you will not be tempted to go to irrelevant websites. Don’t have games installed on your computer, if you want them (don’t use them when there is homework to be done!) just have them on a USB or HDD device and unplug them and put them out of reach while you are working. Finally a really effective tool is a free program called Cold Turkey. It lets you completely block any websites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) until a certain date and time you specify. It’s great because there is absolutely no way to exit the program while it is blocking sites, not even by restarting your computer. There is a minor danger though, just be careful you enter the right date so as not to block yourself for very extended periods of time.

The link for Cold Turkey downloads: http://www.getcoldturkey.com/download.html

Finally Music, some people say it helps some don’t. All the advice I have is probably don’t listen to anything with too much bass or techno beat as it doesn’t allow you to relax. Classical or quiet music would be better for calming your brain down. Personally I prefer to have no music playing in the background while I work.


Homework, while some say it might be useless it actually is very important my opinion, it helps us think for ourselves and develop our organisational and learning skills.

What do you think?

Should there be homework, or is it ineffective?

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