How to Make Homework Less Stressful for Everyone

Homework. The dreaded eight-letter word that creates such divide between parents and students everywhere. Whether your student needs a gentle push to complete his work, or he completes everything on his own, there are still steps you can take to make hometime a little less stressful for your student and for you.

  • Make homework a priority. Make sure your child knows that homework is not a suggestion. Many students are involved in after-school activities, and sometimes homework can be forgotten in the rush to grab dinner and get out of the door. As a parent, make sure you ask about homework, and remind your student to complete it once home. If you make homework a priority, your student will as well.
  • Create a homework “spot.” Set aside a specific place and time for homework. Look for a location that is well lit with a table and chair, and make sure it is stocked with all the necessary supplies. Perhaps it is easiest for your child to complete homework after dinner or maybe right after school. Pick a time that works in your schedules and encourage your child to study then.
  • Help your child with organization and time management. Make a routine. You can start with the child’s planner to review which assignments are due this week. Then talk with your child about how he can plan his work to accomplish everything by the date due. For example, if a short paper is due on Friday, encourage your student to complete a rough draft by Wednesday. This gives him plenty of time to make corrections prior to the Friday deadline. You can learn more about effectivity using a planner here.
  • Make homework active. Sitting in silence and reading can make your student feel sleepy and lose focus. Try active note-taking techniques such as the SQ3R method.  First, scan the reading assignment, looking for bold words or headings. Next, write down 2-3 questions that you have about the topic. This helps you set a focus for the reading assignment. Read the material, taking time to recite important topics while taking notes. Finally, review the material often as you continue through the lesson and prepare for the unit test. Active methods like this help your child maintain focus and increase comprehension.
  • Take breaks to refresh. Have your child take an active 10 minute break for every 20-40 minutes of study. Play with the dog or run a lap around the yard. Stretching your muscles increases the oxygen flow to your brain and helps reset focus when you sit back down for more work.

Homework can be stressful, but with these tips, you can help your student approach homework with less anxiety and frustration. For more study tips from Carol Stanley, Learning Resource Coordinator at Stuart Hall School, you can view our blog post here.