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When Homework Time Is Hard | Stress Reducing Tips for Parents and Kids

Updated on October 17, 2014

Simple Ways of Organizing Better Homework Days (and Nights)

Home work can be frustrating, for both parents and kids today.  Often times, there is so much going on any given day.  But you can reel it in with a little organization and some calm.
Home work can be frustrating, for both parents and kids today. Often times, there is so much going on any given day. But you can reel it in with a little organization and some calm. | Source

As parents, homework can put us over the edge.

Sometimes doing homework with your child can have you feeling like jumping off a cliff!  We've all been there....
Sometimes doing homework with your child can have you feeling like jumping off a cliff! We've all been there.... | Source

Homework: It's Elementary

Now that school is underway, both parents and kids are finding their swing. But getting your child to do their homework can be a common struggle for many parents. However, never is this struggle more surprising than when your child is first beginning school and you are new to the game.

Schools give heavy workloads to young children for completion at home these days as is cited in many sources such as The Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative's Homework: Amount, Effects, Help for Students and Parents. Speaking from the experience of having three children myself, it is not how we remember home work when we were young.

Regardless of the reasons why states are cracking down on our children's "free-time," we need to be on our game - even when we are just as overwhelmed as our kids. Here are some tips on how to make the battle easier to win if your child is resistant when it's go time.


"Try not to stress your child out if they don't understand a lesson when you sit down for homework.

Remember that these are early grades and you are just establishing a work ethic."

Emotional Video: Why Parent Response Is So Important

Remain Calm and Have a Homework Game Plan

Try to approach homework with a positive attitude. Many times, parents are just as tired as children when it is time for homework, as we have all put in a full day at this point. But if you can come to the table with some calm, it can go far in setting the mood for your child.

Try to be patient and set a tone which implies that home work is not negative. One way to do this is to go through your child's backpack in advance. Pack the next day's snack, determine what the homework for the night is and set it out with all the supplies your child may need. If you need to, check the school website so that you are on top of what your child is learning, what tests will be given during the week, and what the night's homework actually is. If a lot of the work load is due on Friday, make sure you are doing a little work every night so that Thursday isn't completely overwhelming.

This will help your child develop a more healthy attitude toward doing his homework, as in the article How to Improve your Child's Attitude Toward Learning on the educational website mathandreadinghelp.org, and it will help you remain in control every night of the week.

Home Work Chaos Can Hurt

None of us want to see our children struggle.  It is important to help them succeed in every way we can - even when we are tired and have just had enough.
None of us want to see our children struggle. It is important to help them succeed in every way we can - even when we are tired and have just had enough. | Source

"Oftentimes, something as simple as enough sleep and less on the itinerary is the key to homework success."

Make Sure Your Child is Getting Enough Sleep

Do not allow your child to become over-tired during the school week. As evidenced by WebMD's Coping with School Stress, your child will have a much healthier attitude about doing his or her work if not exhausted.

School is a long day for any child, so make sure you maintain as healthful a disposition as you can by getting them to bed on time!

Boosting Brain Power

Make sure your kids have everything they need when it is homework time.  A healthy snack will go far in helping them focus and get the work done.
Make sure your kids have everything they need when it is homework time. A healthy snack will go far in helping them focus and get the work done. | Source

The Home Work Settle Down

It is important that when it is time for home work, your child knows its time for business.
It is important that when it is time for home work, your child knows its time for business. | Source

Make Sure Your Child Is Free from Distraction During Homework

As parents with multiple children know, it is difficult to find a good time for homework when there is a lot of bustle occurring around you. However, if you can minimize distractions for your child when it is homework time, this will help you go faster and will also help you maintain some sanity.

If your child is the type of child that needs your help to push them through the work, sit down with them and go over the homework together, giving as much undivided attention as you can. Make sure:

  • They are not hungry (provide a favorite snack or drink to help them focus)
  • They cannot hear the TV in the other room
  • Your other children are not enticing them
  • They are not getting up and walking around
  • They do not have toys around them


Keep it Cool

Remember that much of our attitude toward homework, will affect our children's attitude.  Not just now, but maybe for years to come.
Remember that much of our attitude toward homework, will affect our children's attitude. Not just now, but maybe for years to come. | Source

Fun Educational Resources

There are a variety of fun educational websites designed to help children with skills they may be struggling with, or just to provide further practice in math and reading. Check out these and other resources:

Don't Overschedule Your Child

When it comes to after-school activities, all parents quickly find out that too much is too much as cited in articles like Advocate Health's Dangers of Overscheduling your Child. If your child is struggling with his homework, limit the activities.

If Tuesday is the night your child has baseball, try to do extra homework on Monday so you can keep Tuesday's load as light as possible, or spread out the homework due on Friday so that it doesn't include a lot of work on Tuesday. Use common sense and don't pile on.

Also, if your child doesn't like to do his homework, don't allow him to have a play date BEFORE his work is done. This will just make things more difficult if exhaustion is one of the issues.

Use rewards as incentives to do more diligent work if need be. For example, if Tommy does his homework great on Monday, then maybe Tuesday he can enjoy playing with his friend because you know he can handle juggling both.


Parent Strategies for Stress-Free Homework Time

When It Works, They Work!

Homework time can be difficult, but with a little patience and organization, you can turn things around - for you and your child.
Homework time can be difficult, but with a little patience and organization, you can turn things around - for you and your child. | Source

Find the Best Time for Your Child to Do Their Home Work

Each child is different on when the most productive time to do homework is for them.Try right after school, after dinner, or even in the morning.

See which time is most conducive for your child's optimal attention to kick in. Watch the video above for some more helpful hints to identify what will work best for your child - and you!


Today's Curriculum is Hard!

Elementary homework can sometimes feel extreme
Elementary homework can sometimes feel extreme | Source

Cute Homework Video For Kids From a Kid

Keep Things in Perspective When It Comes to Home Work

Try not to stress your child out if they don't understand a lesson when you sit down to the homework. The teacher can help them understand better the next day if you write a quick note.

The point of homework is that they try to that the work is at least complete. Remember, it is not a crime to help your child if they are the type that is just "done" by the end of the day - just make sure you involve them in getting each answer, even if they don't write it themselves.

Remember that these are early grades and you are just establishing a work ethic. If you think homework is causing your child real stress, consult websites like Stress Free Kids for further tips on how to reduce homework stress.

Showing your child that he or she isn't alone will go far in making the whole homework experience progress smoothly. This also can go far in helping a stressed out parent, as it moves things along much faster!


Work Hard, Play Hard: Make Time for Fun

After all the hard work we and our kids put in, make sure there is time for leisure and fun family time, too.  Now get out there and play!
After all the hard work we and our kids put in, make sure there is time for leisure and fun family time, too. Now get out there and play! | Source

Do You Find Homework Time Stressful?

Homework time in my household is stressful:

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Do You Feel Homework is Helping or Hurting Your Child?

I find that homework generally:

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Products You'll Love:

Homework: A Parent's Guide To Helping Out Without Freaking Out!
Homework: A Parent's Guide To Helping Out Without Freaking Out!

A kindle edition book that will help you as a parent instill the right homework ethic in your child.

 
Brighter Child Math Flash Cards
Brighter Child Math Flash Cards

Is your child struggling with his math facts? Try using some flash cards. You don't have to make your own! Us parents are busy enough!

 

Comments

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    • amiebutchko profile imageAUTHOR

      Amie Butchko 

      2 years ago from Warwick, NY

      Thanks MartinWeiss. Homework time can be so stressful, especially with all the running around life requires of both parents and kids today. Like all things that may get difficult, it is something we can get through together with our children, teaching them that they can count on us to help them in life. I love the idea about relaxing music. I might try that one tonight! Thanks for reading and leaving input!

    • amiebutchko profile imageAUTHOR

      Amie Butchko 

      4 years ago from Warwick, NY

      Thanks, Denise. It is a lot of work staying connected to what is going on in school!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      These are great ideas for parents to help them help their kids. I especially like the part of going through the backpack together first. That gives the parent opportunity to talk about what happened in school that day, give praise for work completed that is brought home, and read any notes that the teacher might send. This helps set a positive atmosphere for homework completion as the parent is showing support for the child's involvement in the education process.

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