We want our children to work hard in school, and for teachers to push them to be their best. That means our children will be given ample amounts of homework that keep them working for hours.
For the most part, I believe that parents are reluctant to complain about the amount of homework their children are given. We also understand – having been kids once – that children agonize over the amount of homework, and whine about it for as long as possible.
However, there are times when a parent might need to speak up.
How much homework is too much? It is a subjective question, because some parents might believe that their kids don’t need much, while others want their kids focused on school as much as possible. Here are some questions to determine if it's the right amount of homework:
Does your child consistently struggle to get the homework done?
This might depend on your child, but if they're a good and diligent student, but still struggles to get the work done, it could be a sign that something is amiss.
Do other parents have similar concerns?
If you have a good relationship with another parent in the class, you might want to broach the subject with them. If you do decide to take some action, it always helps to have others beside you.
Is the homework in line with what your child is learning in school?
You’ll need to dig into your child’s classwork and figure out what they’re doing in school, but it could be instructive.
Is it affecting your child’s sleep or mood?
If your child is staying up late and dedicating hours to the completion of homework, it might be a signal that a change is necessary. Also, if your child seems unusually anxious, moody, or uptight, that might be another sign of a problem.
Is your child merely procrastinating?
You should consider whether your child is simply procrastinating and failing to get the homework on time. If so, the problem might be with the way your son or daughter approaches their homework and not with the workload itself.
Is the workload temporary?
Maybe at the beginning of the school year, the teacher is doling out more homework than usual in order to get children acclimated. If not, and the heavy homework load seems to be consistent throughout the year, there might something wrong.
If you truly believe that your child is being given too much homework and it is persisting, then you might need to ask for a meeting with your son’s teacher. If you explain – with specific examples of the issue – how the homework is affecting your child, you might reach some common ground. If the teacher stands firm, you probably have don't have many options. The last thing that you want to do is make this a larger issue that begins to affect the way your child is treated in the classroom.
To help them with time management, map out a workable goal to accomplish their homework. That means prioritizing work that needs to be done right away and which work can be left for another time. They also need to figure out how much time they should be taking to get things done.
They also need to know that at some point, they should be able to put the books away. A constant focus on homework will only make things more difficult for them. Sometimes by focusing on something else, they will be clearer-headed and more able to complete the homework once they return to it.