Students can struggle with homework for many reasons.
Understanding some common homework challenges can help you find effective solutions, reduce stress, and avoid battles.
Challenge #1: Managing Homework Time
Create a specific homework time and place for your student. Build this schedule and choose an area of your home with your student, so they feel like they are part of the solution.
Time it right. Many students can be stressed out or exhausted after a day at school. It’s important for them to have enough energy to start their homework. Letting them decompress after school, have a snack, or even taking a short nap can make a huge difference before tackling homework.
Use a timer to help your student stay on track. This will give them a better sense of time while completing their assignments.
Challenge #2: Staying Organized
Help your student with a homework plan each night. Younger students may need guidance on what to do, step by step. Older students can create a checklist to stay on task, or you can encourage them to use a planner, either paper or digital.
Students with a heavy homework workload may need help prioritizing. Develop strategies with them to decide which assignments to complete first, whether it’s the harder, longer assignments or tackling the short, less difficult assignments first.
Challenge #3: Distraction and Focus Issues
Students should put away their phone as they are most effective without the distractions of texting and social media. This is especially true for students who already have trouble focusing or like to procrastinate.
Have your student create a checklist with their homework tasks each day. They can cross out the tasks as they complete them, bringing a sense of accomplishment to stay on track. Having a written plan in front of them will reinforce their focus when they start to get distracted.
Challenge #4: Procrastination
Encourage your student to have a calendar in their room at their desk with due dates for assignments and projects. Visual reminders are helpful for students that struggle with procrastination. A calendar you can both see at home helps to hold your student accountable and remind them of due dates.
Break assignments into chunks or steps. Set up a plan for large projects or lengthy papers with due dates for each step. This will prevent your student from procrastinating and trying to get the entire project completed the night before.
Challenge #5: “I can’t do it!”
Students can become overwhelmed at any age with homework and busy schedules. You can help them feel confident and capable by reminding them of their strengths and accomplishments.
Positive reinforcement can go a long way with a stressed out student. Remind your student to take homework one step at a time and celebrate even the small accomplishments!
Recognize when you may need help from others. If your student continues to struggle with the same subject or certain types of assignments, consider reaching out to the teacher or school staff to address possible concerns. Do not ever be afraid to ask for help for your student when you feel like they need it.
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