Homework Doesn’t Have To Be A Battle – Try These Stress-Reducing Tips

The last few weeks have been full of planning and preparing for parents sending kids back to school.

Gathering supplies, making lists, filling out paperwork… and right away, it seems kids start receiving their first homework assignments of the year.

It can be difficult to get back into the flow of homework and projects, but there are some ways we can work to make it easier by understanding how to help our students.

Every child has a unique learning style, and many face challenges when it comes to approaching homework.

Some get so overwhelmed, they don’t know where to start.  Some struggle with physical or emotional challenges that make it difficult to concentrate.  There may be nightly battles that impact the entire family.

Whatever your child’s strengths or struggles when it comes to completing assignments, all families should make it a team effort.

Like everything else in life, accomplishing a task is easier when you are prepared and have a routine.

As the school year goes on, papers and mess may accumulate in their backpack or class binders.  It’s always helpful to stay organized, so setting aside a time once a week to go through everything and eliminate whatever is not needed is helpful.

Having a clear and designated homework space also helps.  Some families have a desk in a private room available; others are tight on space and must use the dining room or kitchen table.

As long as your child can concentrate and has room to spread out, go with what works for your family.

Some children are more organized than others, but kids of every age benefit from making lists of tasks for the week.  

They can put it in calendar form or just create a schedule, but it helps to prevent what we’ve all been through as parents – last-minute panic and trips to the store for a project that is due the next day!

That leads us to an issue that is most often the cause of family stress in regard to homework – procrastination.

We all do it in some form or another, but kids will often procrastinate on a project because they are overwhelmed.  

Keep an eye on their assignment lists, gather supplies well in advance, and help them to stay on schedule by taking small steps toward progress instead of taking it all on at once.

Procrastination is also helped by eliminating distractions.  

Plan ahead with your child to make sure that you take into account nights that may be full of sports or activities, and always make sure there is available time and a quiet place to work.

During your family planning times for the week, estimate how much time each assignment will take – and always allow plenty of wiggle room.  

It’s easy to procrastinate when we don’t want to do something, and for kids, it’s often because they don’t understand something.

But it is always more manageable when we know there is someone to help and support us if we get stuck.  This is especially necessary for kids.

Of course, no matter how much planning you do, there are kids who face challenges like learning or behavioral issues.

Above all, knowing and understanding the way your child best takes in and retains information is key.

Are they a visual learner?  It may be best for them to sit with you and make note cards, draw out a picture of their intended plan, or create charts and graphs in which to break down larger chunks of information.

Auditory learners may need to have a book read aloud to them, even as they get older.  

Or they can even record themselves reading each chapter and then listen to themselves reading it.  This way, they’ve taken in the information in different ways to help it cement in their minds.  This can be done with study notes or reading assignments.

Do they become overstimulated easily?  Make sure their workspace is away from the hustle and bustle of common family areas and use tools that help them to concentrate.  

That may mean they must wear earplugs, run white noise in the background, have a specific type of lighting, or even a basket of sensory items nearby (stress balls, gum, etc.).

Some kids work best under pressure, and some crumble because of it.  

Determine how best to help your child tackle assignments by dividing them into sections.  Whether it’s a project, book to be read, or studying for a test, make out a schedule for each assignment and help them to stick with it.

One last thing we may not think about in the midst of struggling to get all the homework and projects done is that learning can – and should – be fun!

Make games or puzzles out of vocabulary words or math problems, play a family game of charades to study for a test, play “Pictionary” to help younger kids learn, put on plays, make up songs, or go around the table at mealtime with flash cards.

Get creative, be available, and make sure you have a routine, a schedule, and plenty of supplies on hand for whatever may come your child’s way during the school year.

Do you have any fun or no-fail tips for helping kids study and complete homework without stress?  Leave us your ideas!

Comments are closed.