Homework anxiety is a problem that can affect people in any stage in education. This anxiety can be crippling to the students performance. It can lead to procrastination and can eventually end in feelings of hopelessness. There can be many sources for the primary anxiety.
In younger students the very introduction of homework can in itself be intimidating. At the early stages, if homework is not handled properly by the teacher and the parents, the student will lack a strong foundation and this can lead to further anxiety. In this stage the parent must play a primary role. The parent should question the student on his school activities and what they are learning. This is an ample opportunity to ask about homework for the night. These sort of conversations should be handled casually on a daily basis. Car rides and family dinners have ample conversation space and should be utilized. There should always be specific time set out for the student to do their homework. No extracurricular should come before homework in terms of importance. If there does not seem to be enough time in a week to finish homework, then areas where the fat can be trimmed must be examined. The parent should help the student with their work. Not to solve the problems but help with general understanding and error correction. Truly in the early stages of homework it is not usually an anxiety but a dislike. In either case a parent must provide gentle coaxing to form a firm base.
High school is truly the area where anxiety blooms and takes root. Usually the student is becoming more independent and managing their own personal schedules and responsibilities. In this stage the homework time can become much more flexible as long as the work is completed correctly. The parents become less of a helpful resource. As the student pursues their own interests the parents may have only some, or perhaps no information on the subject. The student will have to rely on a network of other students to find help. The main source of the anxiety is usually the fact the student does not understand a subject and feels that they are stupid because of it. They may even do their homework but incorrectly. This leads to a student becoming behind. The more a student does not understand a subject the more they fall behind. The true way to relieve homework anxiety is to gain a clear understanding of the subjects basics, then doing problems of increasing difficulty to gain confidence. The premise is simple but it is very effective. For example if a student was learning basic addition and subtraction would you start with the problem 25-30+2? No, of course not. This problem contains both parts of the theory as well as negative numbers. A better starting question would be 2+2. If the student is finding the starting questions too hard have them back up and do some more basic questions in the same theory. If the student is still having problems grasping the basic concepts there is no shame in seeking external help. The teacher is a good starting point. See if some extra time can be made for the student to have some private help. The teacher is usually a teacher because they love to help others learn. Very often they can make time for the student. Otherwise towards the students group of friends. They most likely share interests and classes, and if they do homework together it will seem less like work. By working together they will both learn faster than individually. Still another resource is the internet. A very popular website khanacademy has a huge video library of over 3,300 learning videos in every subject imaginable, all provided free of charge. Still further there is always the option of the payed private tutor. This last option usually has a price tag attached and it’s usually bigger the more specialized the subject is. In the end the cure for anxiety is always understanding.
This problem is by no means easily solvable. Each person will have their own way to understand a subject, but I hope I have provided you with the resources to start out on the journey. Learning is an addictive and rewarding path, and once you understand one thing there is always something else to confound you. The important thing is to never give up. Fight until the end, and use every ability you have to find one more answer.