Tara is twelve and is in her first year at secondary school. She studies a wide range of subjects and has a different teacher for each class.
As a consequence, she received a large amount of homework throughout the week and has to personally ensure that she is organised and prepared and that all tasks are completed on time. We asked her a few questions about her homework routine.
How do You Keep Track of All the Pieces of Homework You Receive?
"When I started secondary school, they gave us each a homework diary. At the end of a lesson, when the teacher sets the homework, I get my diary out and write the task in it and make a note of the deadline too. I write it in the section for the day on which it was set but I also write a short reminder in the section for the day on which it is due in. It takes a little while and can be irritating to do at the end of the lesson when everyone else is packing up but it certainly keeps me organised. We have to get our parents and our tutor to sign our homework diary each week so that they have an idea of what we have been set and can see if we are keeping up."
Where do You Complete Your Homework?
"It depends. I like to work in a quiet environment; I can't concentrate when there is too much noise. I often work at home at a little desk in my room if my little brother isn't having a crying fit! Mum bought me a lamp to read by and a comfortable chair to sit on. I keep all my paper and pens in the drawer of the desk so they are close by when I need them. If things are noisy at home, I sometimes take my things to the local library and work there. They have a homework club which I am thinking of joining. "
Do You Ever do Any Homework at School?
"About once a week, I do some homework in the library at school, either during a lunch time or after school. It is actually really fun because my best friend and I go together."
What Resources do You Use to Help You With Your Homework?
"I borrow books from my school library and the local library. I find it interesting to do a bit of extra background reading. I'm not yet completely familiar with the way the books are organised at the school library, they use a different classification system from the one at the local library. I think I need to spend a bit of time getting to know my way around to make things quicker in the future.I also research things on the Internet. Sometimes I ask my teachers if they know of any good websites with information on the subject or if they recommend a particular book."
What do You Enjoy About Your Homework?
"I really enjoy it when we are given a big homework project to complete over a few weeks. I like taking some time to think about my ideas and planning it in detail. I like homework projects because they give you the chance to be creative and to do personal research. A group of us did a project on Sri Lanka recently. I really enjoyed presenting it in a big scrap book. We went to a local travel agent and got some brochures about the island. We cut out the pictures and used them to decorate our work!"
How do You Think You Could Improve Your Homework Routine?
"I always complete work on time but occasionally I forget to put it in my school bag! It's so frustrating when you've actually done the work. I'm going to start packing my bag the night before to avoid that happening again in the future."
What Homework Tip Would You Like to Share With Other Students?
"I'd probably say that it is best not to leave a piece of homework until the night before it's due in. Obviously that's not always possible, especially if it is set the day before it is due in! But getting homework done a few days before the deadline is best, as you never know what might come up in the week. It's more relaxing that way too."