Slowing Down, from the Fred Rogers April 2022 newsletter
April 21, 2021
How Parents Can Help Make Homework Stress-Free
Photo via Pexels
written by Emily Graham
For many kids, homework can be a stressful undertaking that results in anxiety, headaches, and procrastination. Parents can feel when something is off, and sometimes that anxiety takes a toll on the entire family’s emotional dynamic. Not only that, it can make kids actively resentful of school and keep them from performing their best in class. That’s why it’s important to talk to your children about the best ways to make homework easier. Not only will it help them relax, it may also reduce family stress as well.
Creating a good plan will help you and your children figure out the next steps. Talk about developing a routine that will help them relax, which will in turn aid them in retaining what they’re studying. Look for ways to continue their education even while they’re having fun, such as computer games and apps that incorporate learning into their activities.
Kids are drawn to electronics like moths to a flame. Why not put that interest to their benefit? Open Education Database points out that there are video games that encourage learning and development in important ways, like problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. Whether your goal is to hone spelling skills, boost mathematics, learn geography, or something else, there are games that can help fill in gaps and engage young minds.
Many popular options can be found online, like Minecraft and Whyville. Just be forewarned that sufficient power and speed can make all the difference when kids are playing. Games often take up a great deal of data, so if you don’t have the right connection it could lead to lagging and frustration.
Create a routine
As KidsHealth suggests, it’s important to help your children get organized. No matter how old they are, it’s imperative to get a good night’s sleep every night so the brain can rest and recharge. Set a bedtime and stick to it, and have your children stay away from all screens—phone, tablet, computer, television—for about an hour before lying down for the night. Screen time can negatively affect sleep habits and prevent us from getting quality rest.
Create a mood
The place where your children do their homework should be clean, well-lit, and free of distractions and clutter. Have them do homework in the same spot every day, if possible, and turn off the television. Studies indicate soft, classical music in the background can help kids learn, but if that’s a distraction, a quiet spot will work just as well. Make sure your kids aren’t hungry, thirsty, or too tired, as these can all be detrimental to learning.
Give them praise and positive reinforcement
It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel like you’re not doing a good job, so be sure to praise your children’s efforts and successes every day. Help build up self-esteem and confidence by choosing one thing they’ve had trouble with and finding a way to incorporate it into a fun activity. For instance, math and baking go together nicely.
It’s also important to have a reward system when they succeed, and spending time outdoors can be a great family activity that also incorporates learning. Backyard camping, bird-watching, and going on a hike in nature, are just a few examples of the best ways to help your child have a blast and let out some pent-up energy.
Talk about time management
Time management is an important part of effective learning and getting homework done. De-stressing isn’t easy when everyone feels pressed for time, so create a clear schedule and stick to it. With most Americans leading such busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to make time for everything, but with a good plan, you can help your children figure out the best way to stay on top of responsibilities.
Learning how to make homework less stressful can be a big job, especially if your child is worried about progressing to the next grade or keeping up with friends. With a solid plan and some motivation, however, you and your child can make the school year a rousing success.
LeafSpring School is dedicated to bringing out the best in every child from nursery school forward. Teachers and nurses partner with parents to ensure a healthy environment to help children prosper in all respects. To enroll, find your nearest school, take a tour, or for other information, visit leafspringschool.com/schools.