How to Handle Homework

Lindsey Faust, Bulletin Editor

Well, here we are again, Keller High School – gone are the lazy days of tanning and tide pools; backpacks and panicked breathing have once again filled the hallways.

 

This year, don’t let the mound of homework, impending quizzes, and impossibly confusing projects get you down (we’re looking at you, juniors).  Take this advice to heart and learn a bit about how to stay on top of your workload, allowing you infinitely less stress and infinitely more free time to spend with friends instead of curled up with a good ole history book.

 

  1. Establish a regular study area. Studies show that regularity is the key to success when it comes to homework, so batten down the hatches in your bedroom or at your kitchen table and plan to stay there. When you designate a specific “study zone,” you are far more likely to actually spend your time studying.
  2. Rid yourself of distractions. Yes, we all know that Twitter and Instagram are far more interesting than A Tale of Two Cities, but that won’t keep your teacher from quizzing you over the last three annotated chapters. So set that iPhone downstairs to lessen the temptation to tweet or text every ten seconds.
  3. Study breaks are healthy. No one expects you to study for 9 hours straight, so give yourself a break every hour or so. Take a stroll around the entirety of your house, or spend ten minutes listening to what your little sister did at school today. Your break should be short and concise to refresh you without letting your mind stray completely away from your physics homework.
  4. Study parties only work if you study. Trust me, I’d rather study with my best friend than alone, but to be honest, we don’t get much work done when we’re together, and most teens function the same way. Some people work well with each other, and if you have a group that does, then great! But more often than not, study parties turn into “eat everything in the fridge and ignore what the teacher assigned” parties – which are less than ideal.
  5. Use your time wisely. I know it sounds like something your weird old middle school math teacher would tell you after you finished a quiz early, but I promise it will help you in the long run. When you get home, sit down and number your homework in order of priority, and then decide how long you will spend on each item. Feel free to spend more than the allotted time, but don’t spend any less. Don’t worry; half an hour of world geography never killed anyone.
  6. Get organized. Be honest with yourself – how many times has a messy backpack led to lost papers, and how many times have lost papers led to failing daily grades? There’s a definite correlation between organization and success, so clean up your act! Buy separate folders and notebooks for each subject; there’s nothing worse than having to flip through a multi-purpose notebook looking for world history notes among algebra practice problems and English essay prompts.
  7. Sleep is NOT for the weak. Going to bed at 2:30 AM each night for a week really takes its toll by Thursday, so treat yourself to some Z’s before dawn breaks. You won’t retain the government notes you need for a test the next day if you try to cram them into your brain in the wee hours of the night. Hit the hay for the night, enjoy your rest, and consider waking up a few minutes earlier than usual to review.