Homework Tips from ATYP Instructors, Alumni & Parents

ATYP homework is designed to be challenging. First, we want you to be learning from your homework. Second, you’re only with us once a week, so we need you to be doing extra work at home so that we can accomplish everything we need to during class time. Classes are filled with lecture, discussion, and debate – no time for homework here!

Some different ways to think about the homework:

  • Your papers have probably always been the reward papers for teachers. Now you’re in a class where every paper is the reward paper! That means you can’t wait until the last minute and slap something together – you won’t be producing the type of material your teacher wants to see.
  • Learning to do difficult homework is like learning to walk: you might encounter some bumps and bruises as you deal with the reality of gravity. Anticipate a little struggle and be prepared to overcome it.
  • It’s sort of like walking on a treadmill: if you walk very fast for a while, when you slow down to a more normal pace, it seems very easy. Once you have tackled (and conquered) ATYP homework, regular homework is probably not going to be much of an issue. This is great preparation for high school and college.

Suggestions:

Most students find that beginning the homework the day following ATYP class helps to keep the week balanced and less stressful. Make a calendar for the week with all of your school time, activities, and family commitments. Once you have done that, block out time for your ATYP homework. Having a set time every day to do homework keeps you motivated to stay on top of it.

Some students make a list of everything they need to do that week, and then schedule which day to do each part; some even narrow it down to a specific assignment that they do on a specific day each week. Math students sometimes divide the homework by numbers of sections or numbers of problems. English students might divide by readings, journals, and weekly writing.

Try to have your homework finished (or at least attempted) by Sunday afternoon. That way, if you run into an assignment you can’t figure out, you can come to the help session and get assistance. Many students going into second year will tell you that they wish they’d done this from the start.

Other tips:

  • Leave your papers out as a reminder of what needs to be finished.
  • Write assignments on a large white board.
  • Keep lists and cross items off as accomplished.
  • English students: keep your portfolio up-to-date and do corrections as the assignments are returned. Don’t let the corrections stack up. This will save you a LOT of time when your portfolio is due.
  • DO NOT procrastinate.
  • Get help as needed.

For Parents:

For the first few weeks, it is critical that you check to make sure your student has finished their work on time and is turning it in. You don’t have to help with the work, but some students will struggle with the responsibility of completing this amount of work in a timely fashion. If you can check before they come to class that everything is done, you will create a routine (and an expectation) that helps to ensure success. Students can learn to be organized and get homework finished, but you may need to help with routines and strategies. Helping them to be successful here will help to ensure they’re ready for similar situations down the road.