Homework is not fun. Though there are people who are challenged more by schoolwork, it can be just as frustrating for the student already understands the subject and is forced to to endure the tedious repetition of a concept they mastered quickly. A little bit of creativity can help to manage the difficulty and tedium of homework to make the situation bearable.
One way to help relieve homework anxiety is to take frequent breaks. It’s usually best to wait until after a subject is finished, but if the concept is baffling the student, or if the homework is a larger project, it can really help to step away for a short time to clear your mind. This way you are refreshed and can focus more easily when you come back. Test takers tend to do better on the big day if they take a break from studying on the day before. Overwhelming your mind with a deluge of information is akin to exercising to the point you strain a muscle, it’s counterproductive.
During breaks it’s good to just relax, have a snack, splash your face with some cool water, or play with a pet for a few minutes. It could help to take a shower. You could even do a small chore like taking out the garbage, start a load of clothes or do a few dishes- something that requires little or no thought. Things that take up a lot of time like video games and television are not a good idea for breaks.
The important thing to remember about taking a break is to make sure you aren’t getting involved in something that is going to take a lot of time. For example, if you start doing a few of the dishes you don’t have to finish all of the dishes at one time, just do some of them and then go back to your homework. That way you’re still getting both things done, but you are switching them up often enough that neither one gets on your nerves as much because you have control over how long you feel like doing them. Breaks are a good way to reward yourself in between assignments.
As far as rewards go, parents can easily encourage hard work by providing a monetary incentive. It doesn’t take much and that allows the child to learn about spending and saving on a limited budget. Obviously, the reward doesn’t have to be money, you can keep track of the completed assignments and schedule a special outing or the making of a favorite dessert or even a ‘get out of chores free’ card. A little ingenuity will go a long way- something personal and special to you the child.
If you yourself are the student, you can still reward yourself! If you’ve gotten your work done consistently over the week, take some time for yourself and make some allowances. You might say ‘I don’t need an ice cream’, but if you’re doing well then make a gift of it to yourself to reinforce how good you’ve been doing. You deserve it and it will remind you to do well in the future when you are having difficulty.
During homework time, turn off instant messaging devices and programs. Nothing will ever get done if you stop to respond to someone every minute. You can let someone know you’ll be away for a while…and if you can’t turn off your instant messaging to do your work, it would be better for you to take care of the situation that requires your constant attention and then start your homework. However:
Procrastination is the key to failure. Kids get off of school and are ready to play after sitting for most of the day- this is perfectly reasonable. There’s nothing wrong with decompressing after a school day! Make sure to wrap up ‘after-school recess’ with plenty of time to complete homework.
Music is a stupendous way to brighten up homework time and aid a person’s focus although there are exceptions; there are some people who work better in silence. For those of you who prefer silence, shut up. Just kidding.
Last but not least, there are parents (and teachers and sometimes even the students themselves) who put an inordinate amount of pressure on themselves to get perfect grades. A person should always strive to do their best. The one constant that remains in humanity is that people make mistakes. Anyone, a teacher, parent, friend or the student themselves, that expects perfection will always be disappointed. Don’t punish others or yourself when a mistake happens, use a constructive approach: ‘How can I avoid this in the future?’ instead of dwelling on the mistakes of the past.