Is Homework Unhealthy? Tips for Helping Your Kids Manage Stress

The debate over homework has been on for years. Teachers and other professional educators claim that homework is an essential and crucial part of a child’s educational development. Many parents, however, who watch the stress and time spent on nightly lessons claim that the homework is becoming more and more demanding and excessive. So, what’s the truth? Is homework really causing too many negative side effects, or is it mandatory for ultimate educational success? Take a look at both sides of the debate, and some tips on how to teach your kids to manage the stress of homework demands.

The Case for Homework

Homework, when used in proper moderation, can truly be beneficial for a child’s learning. The best way to learn a particular task or skill is through use and repetition. When homework is used for either of these, it can be extremely beneficial in the advancement of the child’s knowledge. The school hours are spent for explaining and asking questions, and the night for individual practice. Otherwise, many experts argue that there simply wouldn’t be enough time to both learn and practice the skill in a given day. The key word in all of this is, however, moderation. Moderate levels of homework can bring good to the child’s education without too much stress.

The Case Against Homework

More and more people, both parents and educators alike, are speaking out against the demands of modern day homework. A recent study from CNN indicated that the average time for a kindergartener to spend on homework was 25 minutes, while a senior’s average homework was approximately 3 hours. That’s a lot of extra work after a day at school! This amount of extra work on a child contributes to poor health. Reportedly, around 60% of students in secondary education claimed that homework caused significant stress in their personal lives. This can lead to a breakdown in physical and mental health when left unreported and unchecked.

What’s the Answer?

Parents can do things to help the child in these stressful situations. If your child has significantly too much homework, and you are passionate about it, you can try talking to the teacher or administrators, or in worst case scenarios, moving schools. In the meantime, it is actually healthy to teach your children to complete the tasks set before them. Telling them not to do the homework because you don’t agree with it is setting them up for failure in the workplace later on in life.

Instead, teach them time management skills and stress reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, consistent exercise, or an extra personal hobby to help them eliminate the stress and channel energy. It can also be beneficial to encourage and help your child through the mounds of homework, and to cut them a little slack when they are not perfect. While the debate over homework continues, your best bet may be to teach your children the skills to cope, and you’ll be giving them key skills for a successful life.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jim Larrison

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