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Balancing Homework With Busy Family Life

Life with school-age children can be quite busy, as any parent knows.

"When your family has baseball practice and dance class and many other commitments, including homework, it can be difficult to fit it all in," says Deanne Fisher, Center Director, of the Gurnee Huntington Learning Center.

How can parents help their students manage school and everything else successfully? Fisher offers these tips:

Establish and keep to a schedule. Taking note of your student’s learning preferences, set an after-school schedule and arrange activities around homework. As your student gets older - and most likely, busier - time management will become especially valuable. Help your student learn to use his or her time effectively by adhering to a daily schedule and to-do list.

Learn effective study habits. Teach your student to approach study sessions with a plan, which will help minimize wasted time. Consider each week’s to-dos and tailor an organized study schedule to fit each subject. As a simple example, if a spelling test is Friday, on Monday, have your student read through the word list and sort words by prefix or suffix (or whatever the learning concept is that week). On Tuesday, play a word game to help your student master the words. On Wednesday, quiz your child with an oral spelling test and another game, and on Thursday, do a practice test.

Remember that short, frequent studying is better. If you’re concerned that your student’s busy schedule does not allow for two-hour study blocks, don’t be. Experts say that studying often for shorter periods of time is more effective than lengthy sessions. If your student has evening obligations, try for 20-minute homework sessions after school, after dinner and before bedtime.

Look for windows of opportunity. Extracurricular activities tend to demand more time as students grow older. So while it is important for students to schedule homework time from an early age, keep in mind that short moments of free time are opportunities for homework, too. If your student is an early riser, morning may be a good time for studying. If a younger sibling has to tag along to an older sibling’s sports practice, find a quiet place where he or she can do a little homework.

Juggling your student’s school and activities - not to mention your own job and life - can be challenging, but incorporating these strategies can help make it easier. "It’s never too early to teach your child to make the most of his or her time," says Fisher. "Homework should be a priority, but with good time management and study habits, you and your student will find that there is plenty of time for fun, friends and family, too."

For more information about the Huntington Learning Center of Gurnee, contact Deanne Fisher at (847) 625-4050 or dalgaardd@hlcmail.com.

About Huntington
Founded in 1977, Huntington is a pioneer and leader in the tutoring industry. For over 35 years, Huntington has provided quality instruction to hundreds of thousands of students. Huntington prides itself on being "Your Tutoring Solution" for students in all grades and subjects.  They tutor in academic skills, such as reading, phonics, math and study skills; and in advanced math and science subjects ranging from algebra through calculus and general science through physics.  They also prepare students for state and standardized entrance exams, such as high school entrance exams and the SAT and ACT and provide free school tutoring to eligible schools.

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