How to Help Kids Cope with Homework Anxiety
As kids will be heading back to the classroom in a couple of weeks, some of them may feel overwhelmed by their workload. At the end of each day, teachers will be assigning homework. These assignments are very important to teaching students to apply principles learned in the classroom. Homework also assists the development of critical thinking, original thoughts, accountability and responsibility.
Here are tips to help kids cope with homework anxiety:
1. Encourage using a Planner/Calendar
The first thing that kids can do to help begin a successful school year is use a planner or calendar. They can use paper form, computer format or even an electronic notebook- whatever they feel is the most comfortable for them to organize their homework, daily assignments, quizzes and tests. Teenagers may want to lay out how the planner or calendar would work best for them by reviewing the course outline each teacher gives them. This will allow you to know what day’s homework is due and when quizzes/tests may be given each week.
A good idea for using these tools is to establish short-term and long-term goals to organize the information. Kids may want to map out the 1st marking period as well as the rest of the school year to give a clear idea of any major projects due. They also need to learn flexibility through this process in case unexpected assignments come up, to allow enough time to complete them. I also recommend students reward themselves after finishing homework. For example watching a favorite show, reading a book or taking a walk.
2. Establish Structured Time
Kids may want to set a time that matches their learning style. Some may want to do their homework right after school and others feel more comfortable doing it after dinner. It is also important to create an environment that leads to success. Such as providing a productive space to work, the necessary supplies (pencils, pens, computers), and storage bins to keep everything organized. At the beginning of their homework session, try to encourage your child to complete their assignments and to learn as much as possible.
3. Create Organization skills
I would encourage kids to organize all their classes into binders. Then they can use file folders that include pockets/sleeves for each subject they are taking. It is also important to label each folder by course. The folder can be used to separate class notes/power points, pdf’s, assignments and tests.
Another suggestion is to establish organizational skills by having them use note cards to help study for tests. Many students may be taking subjects that require a great deal of memorization, such as history or science. Using note cards can be a fast and effective way to study vocabulary words, series of events or even dates. For example, a student can put the word on the front of the note card and the definition on the opposite site.
4. Eliminate Distractions
When kids begin to do homework assignments or prepare for a test, it is vital to eliminate all distractions from their study area. Sometimes sitting in a quite room is a challenge to accomplish because you may like to text, play video games or even watch TV. You may want to ask other family members to respect homework time by limited phone calls or loud activities that could distract their children.
If students have a cell phone, it may be a good idea to encourage them to keep it in a separate room while working on their assignments, to avoid receiving text messages, social media, and calls whilst studying.
5. Use Time Management
Students can help themselves with effective time management by establishing a homework routine. Each day they will come home from school with the expectation of completing the necessary assignments. These daily routines allow students to be successful in school as well as learn practical skills for their future.
They can structure their study time on an organizational chart by prioritizing assignments by their due dates. This will provide the necessary skills to complete homework on time as well as helping them learn to handle multiple projects at one time.
HAVE A GREAT SCHOOL YEAR!!
Written by Barron Whited, MS. ED, Professional School Counselor, Agora Cyber Charter School