Our team at My Academy has heard a million stories about homework stress from parents, and it’s something that we as teachers and students can personally relate to. Parents report homework stress problems such as:
- Battles to get children to start their homework
- Homework taking too long to complete (3 hours or more)
- Arguments at home about when and how homework should be completed
- Miscommunication and frustration when a parent tries to explain a new concept to a child, and the child says, ‘That’s not how the teacher explains it!’
- Confusion about teacher expectations related to homework content or completion
- Needing to constantly nag, threaten or punish to get homework done
- Lack of systems for organising homework
- Poor health
The scary thing is, it doesn’t matter whether the child is in Pre-primary or Year 12, these homework problems persist throughout. But in the day-to-day of just trying to get things done, it’s easy to dismiss the problem without giving thought to the long-term implications for our children.
Homework stress is something we see every day in new students coming to us for after-school support, and it’s why we have a relaxed policy about giving extra tutoring homework to students. Unless it’s specifically requested, we tend not to give it, and if we do, it’s purposeful homework – a little bit of revision of what we’re working on at the moment, for example. We also, of course, support students during their tutoring session with existing homework from school – as teachers, it’s a great feeling to see students leave the centre feeling confident about returning to school the next day, having made major in-roads into an assignment, test study or homework task.
There is, of course, the stress on parents and family relationships that homework time can cause as well! When you have to hear your youngest read every day, test their spelling words and ensure they have unpacked their school bag and handed over important notes, while ensuring your eldest child is on track with exam study, along with every other task that needs doing in daily family life… it can be nothing short of overwhelming. The quality time that parents value with their families gives way to getting things done… and again, we can all recognise the long-term implications of this.
Because homework stress is such a big issue for children and parents alike, we are now extending our services to offer a range of homework-help solutions, including an after-school homework club. If we can help alleviate the stress at homework time and help you achieve more quality home time, we’d really love to help.