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5 ways to take the stress out of school work

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As children progress through primary school and approach the start of high school, a common theme that emerges among parents is the noticeable increase in homework. Anxiety can quickly ripple through the home as children resist what can feel like a daily chore, while parents start to question, can this be avoided? One certainty is that homework will continue to be a common part of the school experience, with some teachers focusing on building effective work habits and others emphasising mastery of content covered in class. As parents attempt to juggle a range of tactics in the hope to keep on top of teacher expectations and the curriculum, we’re here to lend some guidance! Here are 5 strategies designed for parents to help take the stress out of school work.

1. Keep communication with teachers open and frequent

Children whose parents are involved in their school community are typically more motivated and on top of their work at school. By taking part in your child’s activities and also staying aware of the wider school calendar, you’ll show them the value you place on education. By keeping an open dialogue with teachers, it will also mean you’re keeping informed of your children’s progress in school and if an issue does arise, you will be able to address it before it becomes a problem. A simple strategy is to meet the teacher and attend parent-teacher conferences regularly. If your child begins to show signs that new concepts or skills at school are challenging them, talk to your teacher about tactics that can be introduced during class before it becomes harder when the work comes home.

2. Role-model organisation and work habits

It goes without saying that for homework to be done efficiently, distractions around the house should be avoided. Allocating a homework station that’s equipped with necessary supplies (paper, pencils, eraser) and as far away as possible from distractions like TV should allow your child to remain focused without getting up out of their seat and losing their train of thoughts. By keeping homework to a routine time each day, it also teaches your child the power of planning and organisation; an activity like making a to-do list or schedule together reinforces this and can help them to gain habits that support the education as they progress through high school and into the workforce.

3. Be on hand to guide, but avoid doing the work

Staying nearby to give them a hand with homework or a school project shows your child that their homework is important to complete, but also confirms it is their responsibility to do so. Arguments can start when a child feels anxious about not understanding the work or how to go about finishing it. Try letting them know that you are there to help once they have attempted to solve the question themselves. A simple rule is, don’t rush to help them when they aren’t asking for your help, but give them enough time to do their assignment on their own. If you notice that they’re really struggling with the task, then offer your help.

4. Break the work into small tasks

Depending on the subject, homework can sometimes take the form of what looks like a complicated list of one task after the next. To make the work less daunting, try breaking down the tasks in the form of a tick box list. Your child can focus on one task at a time and most urgent things can be done first. We all know the satisfying feeling of crossing off completed tasks, and soon they’ll be looking for the next list!

5. Use targeted tuition to support classroom learning

A once-a-week tuition session with a thoughtfully crafted Maths or English program can help new concepts to sink in and provide essential practice for basic skills. A helpful tuition program will also link back to the topics your child is studying at school, so they reinforce classroom learning. Homework becomes fun (almost!) when your child knows what to do and how to do it.

If you’re worried about your child’s progress at school, or simply want to get ahead of their learning and study habits, you can start a conversation with the NumberWorks’nWords team today. Would you like to set up an assessment? Find the centre nearest to you.

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