Using Your Senses to Tackle Homework

 After a long day at school, it can be hard to gear up for homework. But creating a personalized homework space can help make the job easier. You can use your five senses and a secret weapon to make your homework spot just right for you.

 1. Seeing: Experiment at home to figure out which type of lighting you like the best for doing homework. If you like to work in natural light, sit near a window and do your homework just after school.  If you prefer overhead lights, work in a room that has lights in the ceiling. Whatever kind of lights you prefer, be sure that your workspace is well lit.

 2. Hearing: Listen to which sounds work best to help you to concentrate. Music playing quietly in the background can tune out distractions. Ask your parents if you can check out different types of music from the library. Try nature sounds, classical or jazz music. Some kids love to use headphones and can tune out the world when wearing them. For others, a quiet place is best. Background sounds or silence, open your ears to figure out what helps you focus.  

3. Taste: Try these ideas for a tasty way to take a bite out of your homework. Sipping ice cold water from a straw is a great way to wake up if you are feeling drowsy. Drinking something thick like a fruit smoothie, exercises your mouth muscles and can help you focus. Sucking a sour candy or munching a crunchy snack like pretzels can clear a foggy head. And chewing gum is only a no-no at school. It can be a great way to improve concentration during a challenging homework assignment.  

4. Smell: Ask you parents if you can try plug-in air fresheners or reed diffusers to add a good smell to your favorite homework spot. Lavender and vanilla scents create a calm spot. Citrus or peppermint smells spice up the area, which helps if you are feeling sleepy.  Try squeezing fresh lemon slices into a glass of water or push whole cloves into a fresh orange. These activities smell good, can help you feel more alert and are also good finger warm ups for writing. Or you can rub scented lotion on your hands to get them ready for action. 

 5. Touch: Get a grasp on your homework by trying pencil grips for tired fingers. Try different types, weights and shapes of pencils. Some kids love mechanical pencils. Others prefer heavier ones. Some children love to write with soft graphite and others want a hard point. One kid might like to write on a hard surface but another would rather write on a pad of paper. Experiment and see what your favorite kind of pencil and writing surface is. 

 6. And the secret weapon to getting homework done– a short exercise break:  Be sure to use a timer to so you don’t use your break to procrastinate. Try jumping jacks, laps up and down the stairs or wall pushups. If your break uses muscles, it will increase your focus and attention.  Ask your parents if you can try a different homework position. A great one to try is lying on the floor, propped on your elbows. Your body is in a good working position. Your homework is easy to see and you are getting the bonus of muscle work to your shoulders. Another fun idea is to sit on an exercise ball. You can use it like a chair and sit at a table or desk while you do a writing assignment. Muscle work can improve attention. But don’t forget your timer!

 Use your senses to figure out what makes your homework spot perfect. Then you can get the job done and have fun at the same time.

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