Study space

High school students are definitely feeling the pressure. On our Student Life in America survey, 25% of students reported that homework was their biggest source of stress followed by grades (18%), their desire to do well (17%), other kids (8%), and getting into college (8%).

The good news is that there are proactive steps parents can take to help their kids deal with daily stress over homework. Not surprisingly, they are similar to how parents manage pressure in their own work and personal lives: schedule, prioritize, and get help when you get stuck.

1. Put homework on the calendar.

Homework is no different than lacrosse practice or piano lessons. As part of the daily routine, study sessions should go on the calendar. Make sure it’s a time that fits both of your schedules, but is early enough in the evening that your teen will be able to stay focused.

2. Create a study space.

The ideal homework zone is one where your child can work away from TV, rambunctious siblings, and other distractions. A comfy spot is best and should be stocked with all the gear they’ll need like highlighters for reading their history textbook or notecards for memorizing chemistry formulas.

3. Make an action plan.

Since your teen has assignments from different teachers and in different subjects, it’s a good idea for them to make a list of everything they need to do and estimate how long each one item will take. Then, help them prioritize which task to tackle first. Are they loving their English class? Starting off with their reading assignment could be any easy win. Do they have a long problem set in algebra due? It might make sense to make a dent in the assignment while they’re the freshest. There’s no right or wrong order to completing assignments, but setting clear goals can help your child stay focused.

4. Stuck? Ask for help.

If your child is getting frustrated, encourage them to take a break by working on something else for a while. If they’re still lost, call in the reinforcements. Our online tutors are available 24/7 and can help your child get back on track in just a few minutes.

5. Acknowledge their successes.

When homework is done for the night, have your teen walk you through their completed assignments. Celebrating their accomplishments (no matter how small) will keep them motivated.

The Bottom Line

Homework is meant to challenge your child to apply what they’ve learned in school to new problems. This means that homework is necessarily going to be frustrating at times. But knowing that help is available anytime your child gets stuck can keep him or her from giving up and falling behind. Encourage your child to seek assistance from teachers, classmates, or online resources when needed. Teaching them effective time management and study skills can also alleviate some of the stress. By implementing strategies like setting realistic goals, breaking tasks into smaller manageable parts, and creating a conducive study environment, your child can develop resilience and tackle school stress more effectively. Remember, understanding how to deal with school stress is crucial for their academic success and overall well-being.

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