If you like me think back to my school years with nostalgia, you are likely to completely overlook that school can pose a fair deal of stress to students, owing to the often conflicting demands of school life, social pursuits and extra-curricular activities and sport.
We learn in many ways – through experience, social interaction and what we read and study, yet sometimes, it can seem like homework is taking over our entire life. The good news is that study need never be a source of worry if we plan ahead, follow good organisational tips and remain disciplined. Follow these tips and help your child beat the homework blues:
- Encourage your child to plan the amount of time you spend on homework and try to stick religiously to your plan. If they do a little every day, they won’t experience the stress of finding that suddenly, they have a pile of homework they cannot possibly complete by the due date.
- Create a peaceful environment for them: Try to make the area your child works in as pleasant and calming as possible. Play soft music if it helps them learn, maybe diffuse calming essential oils like lavender with the help of an oil diffuser, make sure the room is warm or cool enough to make study pleasant. Try to convert their study area into their own sanctuary; a place they look forward to visiting daily and spending time in, rather than a symbol of stress.
- Encourage children to prioritise tasks: The most successful students know how to budget their time successfully, spending the most time on tasks that require it and skimming through less important tasks.
- Consider hiring a tutor: Sometimes, despite the greatest efforts of parents and children, a child may need help in a specific area of study. Tutors are trained not only to teach specific subject matter, but also to motivate students and teach them good study habits. Your child won’t necessarily need a tutor for ever – if the expense is an issue, enlist the help of a tutor in the weeks leading up to exam time, so they can focus on revision.
- Guide your child, don’t do their homework for them. Homework exists to reinforce previously taught knowledge and to make sure children understand and revise key concepts. Therefore, answering questions for a child or guiding too closely may be counter-productive. Many children like working with their parents close by, so they can pose questions and discuss interesting facts with them. Parents should feel free to fill their kids in on useful information, but they should always encourage children to conduct their own research.
- Make sure your child has grasped the basics: In some subjects, like maths, students cannot progress if they haven’t grasped basic concepts. If you find that your child is committing errors with calculations and equations, help them find useful online resources and websites. A particularly good site for maths is khanacademy. An exponent of the ‘flipped learning’ teaching model, it offers short tutorials on everything from simple addition to complex equations.
We hope that you have found these tips useful. If you have a sure fire way of reducing stress when it comes to homework time, please share it via the comments, we would love to hear it.
In the meantime, for the curious among you we have blogged about homework before, maybe you would like to check the following articles:
Homework – It’s simply a case of getting organised
Doing your child’s homework? Turns out you are not alone
Homework – who do you go to first, parents or teachers
New study finds that homework doesn’t improve grades