Most adults are familiar with the idea of maintaining a “Work-Life Balance,” where you protect your free time and avoid overworking yourself. Just like their parents, kids need time to spend away from the stress of their own work – school. With at-home learning becoming a norm due to school safety measures, it’s even more important these days to set boundaries between our kid’s time spent doing homework and having fun.
How to Spot Homework Overload
There’s not a lot of consistency in the guidance for how much homework is right for kids at each grade level. That’s because kids all work differently. That makes it difficult to set a standard. You know your kids best. Talk with them often about how they’re feeling about their homework. If you notice signs of stress or anxiety, such as meltdowns around silent work time, it might be time to adjust your approach to their at-home work. Communicate with their teachers, too, in case they’re unaware of your student’s workload from other classes and obligations.
Make a Plan For Both Work and Play
Every few days, help your kids look ahead in the week to see what homework might be coming their way. Make a plan for blocks of time that might be needed for difficult assignments. Do the same for blocks of unstructured time when they can relax. If your child’s teacher tends to assign homework day-of, set aside sometime each day to review what your kid needs to complete that evening, and what they’ll do to take breaks.
Don’t Start Up the Homework Helicopter!
All parents want to see their kids succeed at school. When you’re invested in their grades, it might be tempting to monitor the progress for each assignment they have in progress. But teachers and educational experts both recommend that once a parent works on a homework plan with their kids, the time should be spent mostly alone. Reassure them that they can come to you for help, but allow them time to work independently. Kids can often sense our anxieties, and overseeing the process too closely can add to the stress. Lastly, reassure your kids that no matter their grades, you love them. Confident students with high self-esteem are shown to perform the very best!