5 Tips to Reduce the Stress of Homework

For some, homework is a pain. A rollercoaster of monumental tasks, pointlessly easy exercises and the occasional homework that is spot on! Homework as a concept sounds great, a chance to consolidate key learning and a way of instilling discipline to see a task through to the end. However, as term rolls, homework habits set in… and so do the common problems associated with it. Traditional maths methods versus modern methods, whether to correct spellings or simply getting your child to concentrate can be stressful.

Here are my 5 tips to help reduce the stress of homework:  

1.   Schedule a regular time and quiet place

Ensuring your child has a quiet, comfortable space to complete homework is beneficial, especially for children who find it hard to sit still concentrate. Some prefer to complete their homework straight after school whilst others need a break before getting started! Like animals, children benefit from having a healthy routine.

2.   Annotating your child’s homework

Showing your child that you are there to support and encourage will make a huge difference to their mental wellbeing. Even if you don’t feel confident with the subject matter, what matters more is showing your support by being there to remind them that doing their best is enough. It may not always be possible for you to monitor homework but casting an eye over it once you are home and letting them know, will send them a message that you care.

Sometimes it may be necessary to give that extra layer of help, such as modelling a sentence. Whilst this is fine, it is a good idea to annotate homework to show your child’s teacher your exact contribution.  If your child is sensitive, you could always leave the annotations until after bedtime.

3.   Ask your child’s teacher to explain a maths method

Maths methods taught in schools continue to evolve, especially in Key Stage 1. Written methods for addition, subtraction and multiplication can seem alien to many parents because they are so different to how we were taught. Sometimes, a written example on a worksheet isn’t enough for your child to understand what they need to do. There is often a lot of steps involved in calculations, so it is no wonder that children find it tricky. If your child can’t decipher the method, it is best to communicate this with your child’s teacher. Teaching your child an old-fashioned method may just add to the confusion, especially in Years 1-2. Rather than pushing on through, it is wise to speak to your child’s teacher and ask him/her to give you a run through of the method used in class. Sooner rather than later is best.

4.   Check homework

If your child knows that you routinely check their homework, they will be more likely to do their best. You don’t need to pick their homework apart, as negative feedback will only deter your child from trying harder. However, you want your child to know that you are keeping an eye on what they are doing, without passing too much judgment. If you notice they haven’t bothered with their handwriting, let them know, gently, that you expect a greater effort and balance it out with some positive feedback. Having your unconditional support is what will help them most.

5.   Give verbal praise

Noticing what your child has done well in their homework will help them feel secure and nurtured. The more specific your praise is the better, for example, ‘great use of (!) to show excitement or surprise.’ Effective praise is specific and genuine, and it works wonders!  The more you practise giving it, the more natural it will become. Younger children can benefit from having a homework chart with rewards, nothing over the top, a hot chocolate with marshmallows will do! If your child always struggles to complete their homework, this may be a sign of a deeper problem. Discussing your concerns with your child's teacher to find a new way forward can be a big step in the right direction. 

Written by Clare - CreativeHare

If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please emailclare@creativehare.co.uk- I would love to hear from you.

Posted on October 2nd 2020

Loading... Updating page...