Quick tips to help kids with homework anxiety
- Quick tip 1Try self-calming strategies.Try self-calming strategies.
Try some deep breathing, gentle stretching, or a short walk before starting homework. These strategies can help reset the mind and relieve anxiety.
- Quick tip 2Set a time limit.Set a time limit.
Give kids a set amount of time for homework to help it feel more manageable. Try using the “10-minute rule” that many schools use — that’s 10 minutes of homework per grade level. And let kids know it’s OK to stop working for the night.
- Quick tip 3Cut out distractions.Cut out distractions.
Have kids do homework in a quiet area. Turn off the TV, silence cell phones, and, if possible, limit people coming and going in the room or around the space.
- Quick tip 4Start with the easiest task.Start with the easiest task.
Try having kids do the easiest, quickest assignments first. That way, they’ll feel good about getting a task done — and may be less anxious about the rest of the homework.
- Quick tip 5Use a calm voice.Use a calm voice.
When kids feel anxious about homework, they might get angry, yell, or cry. Avoid matching their tone of voice. Take a deep breath and keep your voice steady and calm. Let them know you’re there for them.
Sometimes kids just don’t want to do homework. They complain, procrastinate, or rush through the work so they can do something fun. But for other kids, it’s not so simple. Homework may actually give them anxiety.
It’s not always easy to know when kids have homework anxiety. Some kids may share what they’re feeling when you ask. But others can’t yet identify what they’re feeling, or they're not willing to talk about it.
Homework anxiety often starts in early grade school. It can affect any child. But it’s an especially big issue for kids who are struggling in school. They may think they can’t do the work. Or they may not have the right support to get it done.
Keep in mind that some kids may seem anxious about homework but are actually anxious about something else. That’s why it’s important to keep track of when kids get anxious and what they were doing right before. The more you notice what’s happening, the better you can help.