Homework stress is real and your child may be dealing with it even if you don’t know about it.
I’ve dealt with it and in our case it was one of the many major issues that drove us to homeschooling.
***Update – Look below for my tips on helping your kids adjust to learning from home during quarantine.
We’ve would spend month after month, year after year of battling the nightly pile of homework we would receive.
I’d just graduated from a teaching program with my degree in special education and something told me what we had been doing wasn’t right.
It wasn’t worth it pushing our child to do 14 pages of homework a week after a long day at school.
The work getting done was not productive learning, because I like many of you had a frustrated child who was done learning for the day.
How does homework cause stress?
Recently the American Journal of Family Therapy reported that increased amounts of homework caused undo family stress. Additionally the average school child receives about 3 times the amount of homework recommended by professionals.
THREE TIMES the amount of recommended homework! That’s enough to drive any child or parent crazy.
Most modern day families have two working parents and children who are in school full days.
Huge amounts of homework infringes on family time after school and work. It can become frustrating for both parents and children who are tired after a long day.
How can we help our children with homework stress?
- Are there any distractions during homework time? Distractions can make it more difficult for our children to easily finish their homework.
Possible Fix- Figure out a quiet activity younger siblings can do while older ones are working on homework.
- Are you giving enough support? Some children require more support than others. You’re child may need help completing a homework assignment.
Possible Fix- Schedule one-on-one time to do homework with your child daily. Hire a tutor if your child needs help with a concept you don’t understand.
- Is my child fueled to do homework? Kids burn a lot of energy at school and when playing at home. Let’s face it, we as parents don’t know what tasks they’ve had to do in their full day of school, unless we get them to talk about their school day.Was there P.E. or testing? These things take a lot of energy away from our children’s brain power.
Possible Fix- Consider doing homework immediately after snack time or on days your child doesn’t have at-school testing, so your child has energy and brain power to complete their work.
- What is your homework time? Sitting down to do homework right before bed can be a recipe for disaster. Kids are tired and cranky not ready to put their brains to work.
Possible Fix- Find a comfortable time between the end of school and bedtime. Too soon after school and they might feel burned out, too soon before bedtime and they might be too tired.
- Is homework a part of your routine? Kids love routines, something they can come to expect every day.
Possible Fix- If you don’t include homework in your routine consider adding it to a written daily schedule your kids can see or doing it at the same time each day.
- Are you maintaining your patience? No judgement, all moms lose their patience sometimes. However, we need to reflect that our kids want to do well on their homework, but are struggling.
Possible Fix- If you feel yourself getting frustrated during homework time step away and think about what else you can do to help. Could you come back to homework later, hire a tutor, or try another solution mentioned in this post?
- Is your child getting burned out? How long are you spending on homework per day? 15 Minutes? One hour? Two Hours?
Possible Fix- If you are spending more than 15 minutes per day on homework it’s possible your child is getting burned out. Remember they did just spend a significantly long time at school doing similar work. If homework is taking to long to complete it is probably excessive. See below.
- Does your child understand the subject matter? Is there a certain area your child is struggling with? Maybe math, science, or reading?
Possible Fix- Look up some hands on activities, apps, or videos that might help them grasp the subject better. If that is not working consider hiring a tutor that specializes tutoring in that subject.Here is a great list of free education resources that may help your kids.
- Are you communicating with your child’s teacher? Sometimes teachers can provide valuable insight to your child’s performance. They can offer tips that will help you guide them at home and work with you to come up with solutions.
Possible Fix- Schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher to discuss homework. Ask them if there are resources available at school or home that will help your child be successful.
- Is your child getting an excessive amount of homework? With high state standards many schools are piling on pages of unnecessary homework to prepare students for testing.
Possible Fix- Decide how much homework is appropriate for your family. Consider meeting with your child’s teacher or principal if you feel your child’s homework is excessive to discuss possible solutions.If your child is still struggling, consider taking your concerns to your PTA or school district. There are always other options like homeschooling and charter school that may work better for you and your child.
Happy Learning During Quarantine – Tips for Kids and Parents
Since we recently switched to homeschooling ourselves I thought I’d offer some tips to help you adjust.
- Anyone can homeschool. But, it’s normal to feel mom guilt that you aren’t doing it right or good enough.
Homeschooling and distance learning is an adjustment for kids and parents. Take the transition slow and don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your kids to get EVERYTHING done perfectly.
- Make a flexible schedule that isn’t overwhelming.
4 hours per day is how much we spend on homeschooling. I find my kids learn a lot more with this time spent on school.
This doesn’t all have to be time spent on worksheets and homework either. Read aloud stories, watch educational videos, do science experiments and crafts, and get some fun educational apps that help reinforce what they are learning.
- Get your kids out of the house. Being in quarantine has been hard on all three of my kids. But, one thing that does help is getting them out of the house.
We are big on social distancing, so we try to find safe activities. Family hikes in low traffic areas, jumping on the trampoline outside, gardening, or playing in the hose.
These outdoor blocks of time help boost the kids to be ready to learn and do school at home.
Don’t allow homework stress to take over your family life.
Every family and child has different needs when it comes to homework and learning.
What may be easy for one child may be more challenging and excessive for another. Remember you are your child’s biggest advocate!
The key to fixing those problems sometimes lies in our own personal reflection as parents. Asking ourselves important and sometimes tough questions that will, in the end, help our kids overcome hurdles while bringing attention to problems to our teachers and schools.
Do you have a child that struggles with homework? What concerns do you have about homework? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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