Whether you see homework as a reassuring sign that your child’s school is taking the children’s academic progress seriously, or simply an added burden that you and your child don’t need, homework is here to stay for the present. And is the bane of the modern families’ busy lives.
Even a happy child, who loves school, once in a while succumbs to the pressure of homework and ends up giving in to tantrums and tears. And very few parents can say hand on heart that they didn’t have arguments with their children and had doors slammed on them over homework.
In a poll posted on debate.org, participants are asked whether children should have homework and a staggering 79% who answered the question favoured the scrapping of homework. Perhaps the result is not surprising as the increasing amount of homework children take home from school is causing stress in children even as young as six years old.
Of course, not all children find doing their homework such an ordeal. But if you are concerned about your child, here some things you can to do help ease homework burden.
Watch out for signs of stress.
To see signs of stress in young children, you may need to pay closer attention to their behaviour. Reluctance to go to school, headache and stomach-ache complaints can be signs that your child is unhappy at school.
Help your children manage their time.
You may think your child is too young to learn organisational and time-management skills, but these are two vital skills they need to help them avoid homework stress. For instance, instead of doing their homework the day before they need to hand it in, get your child to do 10 minutes everyday. This way, he will not be cramming at the last minute, and he doesn’t feel that he is giving up a large chunk of his free time to homework.
Remove distractions while your child is doing his homework. Turn the telly off, or designate a quiet place for studying, preferably away from computer and video games.
Limit your children’s extra-curricular activities. It is not uncommon for KS1 children to be doing different after school activities, from dancing to martial arts classes, Mondays to Fridays. Curricular activities can do your children a lot of good, but if they have to be somewhere every day after school, they will have no time to complete their homework during the week. And they’ll end up spending their weekend doing their homework, or cramming on Monday morning.
Finally, encourage early bedtime.
Sleep deprivation can cause serious problems in children and increases their stress level. Research finds that bad behaviour in children is related to lack of sleep. Children need at least 9 ½ hours’ sleep.