Reducing Homework Stress
As you may have read in one of my previous blogs, despite being the owner of a tutoring company, I’m not a fan of homework. I think it adds stress on families for negligible benefit academically. However, homework does come home, often on a nightly basis. Here are some things you can do to reduce this stress.
1) Make sure your child is hydrated and fed. This one is simple: a “hangry” child can’t learn. That being said, if you are helping them with their homework make sure you’re fed too.
2) Make a clear list for your child of what needs to be done; for older children, help them make their own list. Being able to see what they need to accomplish and then being able to cross it off will help keep them on track. Students tend to do what they want to do first (colouring, decorating, easier tasks) rather than what is most important.
3) Take breaks. It is tempting to just push through and get everything done. However, your child will do better if they can get up, move around, and come back to the table.
4) Communicate with the teacher if homework is taking too long. Take your child’s grade and multiply it by 10 to find out how many minutes your child should be doing homework. For example, grade 4 x 10 equals 40 minutes of work. Most teachers estimate how long a particular task should take their students. Some students work slower and take more time to process. If they are routinely doing more than the guideline communicate this to your child’s teacher with the goal of reducing nightly work.
5) Remind yourself that if you are stressed, your child will be stressed. If you cannot help your child through a concept because your child seems to not understand, it is okay to leave it unfinished and send it back with a note explaining the difficulty. This teaches children that it’s okay to struggle and ask for help.
I hope these tips make homework time more doable for your family.