Homework anxiety: Why it happens and how to help

By Gail Belsky

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.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Gail Belsky is executive editor at Understood. She has written and edited for major media outlets, specializing in parenting, health, and career content.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Jerome Schultz, PhD is a clinical neuropsychologist and lecturer in the Harvard Medical School Department of Child Psychiatry.