If, as a parent, you’ve ever found yourself thinking that your child’s teachers are assigning way too much homework, you might be onto something. A recent study by the American Journal of Family Therapy found that today’s teachers are assigning children as much as three times the education industry’s recommended amount of homework. The significant increase in homework has even prompted some parents and researchers to push for less homework in schools, citing studies that indicate the higher stress levels experienced by children these days.
No parent wants their child to be stressed out. We all want what’s best for our children, including the highest quality education and the happiest childhood. It’s only natural to be concerned when our children are stressed and want them to succeed in school no matter what. If this sounds familiar, read on. Here are some of our favorite and most painless parenting strategies for helping your children complete their homework assignments.
The first step is making sure you have a quiet, comfortable home environment where your child can study and you can assist with homework questions without distraction. The popular children’s magazine Scholastic recommends reducing stress during study time. You might start by creating a space for your child to focus on their homework assignments at home. This could be in a spare bedroom or even in a corner of your child’s room.
Ideally, it would be located near a window since studies have shown that natural sunlight boosts working habits. This area should also be located away from the television and free from distractions. That way, your child can focus and give the homework their full attention. Of course, if you live in a smaller space, this might be easier said than done. However, it is important to remember that you still do have some options. For instance, one way you could still carve out a quiet space for your child to complete their homework is by looking into a corner desk. Unlike full-sized desks, which take up a lot of room and sometimes fill an entire wall, corner desks are much smaller. This makes them affordable, convenient, and better able to fit into a smaller space. You can squeeze one into a small corner in almost any room of your house without causing too much disruption to the furniture throughout the rest of the room.
Make It Fun
You might also try making homework more fun and exciting to your child by linking it to an enjoyable activity. One creative way to do this is by creating a home environment that is devoted to learning. For instance, you could encourage your child to spend time playing outdoors while studying nature and science via bird watching (there are even apps to help you get started) or plant identification. Outdoor learning activities can be so much fun that they will feel less like studying and more like playtime. You might also choose to teach your child STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills by completing a simple-yet-fun science project together as a family. With a little creativity, the options are endless!
Make Use of Technology
Speaking of fun, one way you can help your child stay on top of his or her homework is by making use of apps and websites. As Techwiser explains, there are quite a few homework apps that will help you and your child keep track of what they need to do. Additionally, there are plenty of programs and websites designed to help with mathematics, English, geography, and all points in between. Find out what works for your child and get started!
If you haven’t already, now might be a good time to invest in a good tablet. Don’t think of this as a gaming, social media, or time-wasting device — a tablet can provide a wealth of educational content for your child, allowing them to enrich their lives in countless ways. Many tablets, such as the iPad 10.2, allow kids and adults like to use multiple apps at once, take notes with ease, stream high-quality content — all while maintaining a pretty strong battery life, which is important for those weekend trips and vacations.
One final thing to note: As you start creating structure and boundaries surrounding homework, it’s common that your child might complain a bit, especially at first. When our children are younger, they want to be carefree and don’t like being forced to do their homework. However, all children need some level of structure. By providing a quiet place where your child can focus on completing homework assignments, and by assigning set times of the day for your child to spend working on school projects, you’ll be providing a structured parenting style that will set your child up for success into adulthood. Your children will thank you later.