Do you feel like your afternoons are an uphill battle of trying to get your child to do their homework? Does homework seem like an added stress to your child’s life because there is so much going on? Is your child completing their homework but you believe that this time is not being used productively?
Homework stress is real and it doesn’t just impact your child. The rest of the family can take on stress too! When you consider the fact that many families have two parents who work full time and children who are at school all day, followed by after school activities, it can feel like there isn’t enough time to get it all done. When homework isn’t prioritised, children can start slipping behind and feel frustrated that they aren’t progressing at school. This infinite cycle can lead to burn out and families feeling exasperated!
As the parent, there are some simple and practical steps you can take to help your child handle homework stress. From implementing a good routine to enlisting the help of a brilliant tutor, there is something on our list for everyone, no matter where you are in the journey.
❌ The problem: Your child is distracted. Being distracted can make effective learning near impossible.
✅ A solution: Identify common distractions and put systems in place to eliminate them. For example, find a quiet activity for younger children to complete while your old children tackle their homework.
❌ The problem: Your child isn’t fueled to do homework. Children burn lots of energy while learning at school and while playing at home. As a parent you may not have a full picture of all the activities your child engages in at school.
✅ A solution: Schedule homework time right after a nutritious snack, for example blueberries (full of antioxidants and improve brain function), dark chocolate (delicious and increases blood flow to the brain) or nuts (they increase cognitive performance). This way, your child will have energy and brain power to finish their homework.
❌ The problem: Time allotted for doing homework is not appropriate. There are optimal times to complete homework and then there are times where your child cannot process things effectively due to their brain being tired and needing rest. An example of an inappropriate time to do homework is just before bedtime as your child should have enough time to wind down after a full day at school.
✅ A solution: Select an appropriate time slot between school finishing and bedtime beginning. What you choose will be determined by your family’s routines and your child’s energy levels after school.
❌ The problem: Homework isn’t part of your routine. When homework becomes part of the daily routine, your child will develop an understanding and mindset that homework is prioritised and is a part of their everyday life. As a result, when homework time arrives, your child will be prepared to face the tasks at hand.
✅ A solution: Create a written schedule, which includes all school commitments and extramural activities. Use this schedule to slot in time to do homework every day.
❌ The problem: You are expecting your child to concentrate for an unrealistic period of time. Did you know that children can concentrate on a task for approximately 2 - 3 minutes per year of age? This means that the attention span of a 3-year-old is about 6 to 9 minutes, while a 16-year-old can concentrate on a task for about 32 to 48 minutes.
✅ A solution: Recognise your child’s ability to concentrate and factor in short breaks to boost their ability to focus.
❌ The problem: There aren’t enough hours in the day. With school hours, sports, driving from one task to the next, play dates, family commitments and everything else you’ve got going on as a family, homework can feel like the lowest priority on the list.
✅ A solution: Evaluate your family’s schedule and make tweaks where you can to factor in a timeslot for homework. This may include limiting extramural activities to two or three per week or reserving play dates for Friday afternoons.
❌ The problem: There’s too much homework. Perhaps you have done everything in your power to create a good homework routine, to motivate your child and to help them get all their homework done and you still feel swamped.
✅ A solution: Sit down with your child’s teacher and have an open conversation. You will gain valuable insight into your child’s performance at school and you can receive resources to help tackle getting homework done.
❌ The problem: Your child is doing their best, but they require more support.
✅ A solution: Some children require more help than others. This is where one-to-one support comes in! Our Teach Me 2 tutors will do more than just help your child complete their homework. They will create personalised lesson plans to guarantee that your child’s performance improves significantly. Click here to get started.