Private schools tend to expect students to complete a great deal of work at home, particularly in grades 7-12. Asking students to complete independent work at home is part of the way private schools teach. In addition, after a school day that generally ends later than public schools, private school students are often involved in many extracurricular activities, such as sports, drama, publications, and music, that add to their workload. As a result, students often wind up staying up late and feeling stressed about completing their homework. Here are five easy-to-implement strategies to help you complete your homework more efficiently:
Speed up your reading.
Reading in the right way is one of the best ways to get more out of your homework time and how to become a better student. Instead of just glancing at the page, take out your highlighter or pen and underline key passages. As you read, ask yourself the main idea of the reading, and summarize the material afterward. Such strategies, referred to as "active" (rather than "passive") reading have been shown to drastically improve students' comprehension of difficult written material. In addition, if you summarize the material, your summaries may help you prepare more efficiently for quizzes and tests because you won't have to re-read the entire passage and can just look at your summaries.
Organize your Tasks.
At the beginning of each week, ideally on Sunday, you should look at your homework for the week ahead and write down your work in a planner or on a dry-erase board posted in your room. This strategy will enable you to visualize everything you have to do in the following week. In addition, post other commitments you have, such as sports practices or games, club meetings, doctor appointments, or other activities. Plan ahead for busy times. For example, if you have a test on Friday-which is a common test day-you should study each night, particularly if you have other commitments during the week. Research shows that students learn better when they distribute their studying over several days and don't cram at the last minute. In addition, if you study ahead of time, you can avoid working when you are exhausted from the week's activities.
Resolve Problem Areas.
If you find yourself bogged down or having difficulty in one particular area, you may need help. You may need to set up a meeting with your teacher if you don't understand the material. Be sure to resolve problem areas as they crop up, and don't wait until the night before a test. Instead, approach your teacher politely and ask to meet with him or her at a convenient time. Meeting with teachers can help you resolve the issues that are slowing down your homework.
Unplug from Distracting Devices.
If you find yourself getting distracted by your Facebook page or by constant texts or e-mails, you may need to unplug while you are getting your homework done. The internet, video games, and other electronic distractions may prevent you from getting your work done, and unplugging for a few hours each night can help you complete your work more efficiently and get to bed at a decent hour. If you are tired, you tend to study less efficiently, so getting enough sleep helps you work better.
Consider Getting a Tutor or Homework Helper.
If you find that you simply can't get your homework done efficiently and are staying up late continually, leading to exhaustion during the school day, you may need the temporary help of a tutor or homework helper . While tutors should never do your work for you, good tutors can help you organize your work and give you some strategies to help you complete your work more quickly. In addition, they can motivate you to stay on track during your studying. Be sure to find a tutor who is familiar with your school and its curriculum and who works not only on the content of your work, but also on the organizational skills to help you become a better student. Ideally, a good tutor will help you get to the situation where you have the necessary organizational abilities to complete your work on your own.