School homework can indeed be stressful for the entire family and not just for the child or the parent trying to help the child stress less. Even pets sense when the entire household is stressed.
If your child is less stressed about homework, you will be less stressed too. Homework, orals and projects have to be done to do well at school. Achieving good grades in tests and exams is just a part of how to do well at school.
As a parent of children attending school, how can you help your children with their school homework?
Do not do your child’s homework yourself. This does not help.
Try and provide your child with a good space to do their homework. A table and chair that is comfortable but not so comfortable that they would rather fall asleep than get their school tasks done.
The table and chair should not be too close to any distractions like windows that give a view of a busy street, or where they can see the television, but at the same time should also not be too far from where you are most busy in the evenings. If needing you, the child doesn’t have to get up to find you, and you won’t be totally stressed out by the constant “Momeeee!” call if you are close by.
If you have two or more children, let them take turns to use possibly the only really suitable spot in the house at the chair and table, while the other child or children settle on the carpet with something decent to press on.
Doing good research for a project can take an incredibly long time if you don’t have the appropriate resources close at hand. Try and invest in a good set of encyclopaedias, or keep links to useful websites in a file on the computer. Getting the research out of the way as quickly and easily as possible can save a huge amount of time. This will reduce the time spent rushing through schoolwork in an effort to complete it all in time, and also allows your child to go to bed at a decent hour.
Write notes in your child’s homework book reminding him to bring home the appropriate text books needed for assignments due in a few days, so that they can make a start on that work earlier rather than only on the night before it’s due.
If homework is sometimes finished earlier than expected, allow your children a short break, but then insist they spend a little more time on homework, making a start on something that is due later in the week, or even if it’s due only the next week. Rather this than both you and your child suddenly realising there’s new homework assigned later in the week, and panicking about how it’s all going to be completed in time.
If a child is obviously exhausted, and it’s plain that they are not pretending, don’t force them to complete the work before having a break or going to bed. You could always wake them up a little earlier in the morning to allow them to get a bit more work done before going off to school for the day.
If your child is involved in extra murals that have absolutely nothing to do with the school curriculum, and not missing any of these coaching sessions or lessons means that your child is struggling to cope with a lot of homework or with studying for exams, it’s not the end of the world to skip the extra murals once or twice. Do it.
Keep junk food for weekends only. During the school week, ensure your children eat nutritious snacks, both at school and at home, and also be sure to see that they drink plenty of water. They will be able to concentrate better, and get more work done in shorter time periods.
Be a responsible parent and help your children cope with stress related to homework and school, by reducing that stress in any way you can. Just don’t do their homework for them.