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How To Make Homework Less Stressful For Students

Rupali Karekar
Dec 22, 2020
Education Tips

Homework is one of the ways that teachers test how well their students learned the lesson. Did they retain the right information? What are their key takeaways? What insights did they manage to arrive at when they were coming up with the assignment? Seasoned teachers know that once in a while, an excellent student comes along who provides answers that reshuffle the deck in terms of understanding the lesson and that do a great deal of delivering insight that not only enriches the conversation but also makes it more meaningful. That said, homework too can be a source of stress for your students.

Here’s How to Cut Down on Those Stress Levels

Offer Examples

The best teachers know and recognise that there are different learning styles. Kids who respond to visual stimuli, for instance, might not be as good in picking up information through mere lectures. A kinesthetic learner will need hands-on experience for a better learning experience. That means simply giving out a problem isn’t going to work since some of your students might need more than that to get the gist or idea of the assignment. By offering examples, though, you make it easier for the kids to understand what they’re meant to do and how they’re supposed to go about the task. That also saves you time. When you include examples, that reduces the chances of many of your students asking you for further clarification about the assignment. The examples, too, help the parents understand what their kids are supposed to do. If the parents help the kids with those assignments or guide them through the tasks, those examples can save all of you time and effort.

Have a Valid Reason

It’s never a good idea to give out homework just to keep the kids busy. That’s not the right logic to have, and if that’s yours, you might need to recalibrate your thinking as a School in Dubai teacher. Ask yourself: is there a valid reason why you require the kids to undertake the task? What are those reasons? Are you using that homework to complete the topics because exam season is coming? Or are you giving out homework as a consequence for bad behaviour in class? The best reasons for assigning homework are enhancing your students’ grasp of the subject or improving their level of knowledge. If you’re using it to complete your work or as punishment, those aren’t good enough reasons to proceed.

Reduce the Amount

The global pandemic has affected many families, and your students might be one of those affected. If you’re giving out homework, think of your students. Just because they’re at home doesn’t mean that they have the freedom to spend all that time in front of their laptops studying or working on assignments. Some of them might be helping out at home. Some of their parents might have been laid off from work. Some of them might be stressed or worried or trying to make ends meet by working while studying. While that doesn’t mean you should eliminate homework, try not to require too much from your students. If they have a final project, why not ask the output to be sent online instead of having that project printed and delivered to school? You want to protect your students from the risk of exposure, so any output should be sent online.

Assess the Work

When you ask them to turn in an assignment, make sure you assess the homework. Let them see how you value the work they’ve put into the project. Make them understand why that homework matters, how much of its percentage will make up their final grade and what it tells you about what they learned. Use that assignment to provide them with feedback. Does their work show any progress? What areas can they improve on? Praise their effort and progress while pointing out weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Provide Positive Feedback

Too many people think that feedback is just merely telling students about their progress or lack thereof. But there’s a reason why it’s one of the best mentoring techniques out there. There’s a way to offer feedback to strengthen the resolve and encourage the students even more. Positive feedback succeeds in motivating kids to work harder to achieve their academic goals. That’s the kind of feedback you should learn to hand out. You can accomplish that by being positive about your approach. Being honest about your feedback doesn't mean you need to be brutal. Point out their weaknesses but build them back up again. Don’t step all over their ego. A good teacher recognises that kids have complex emotions. Treating them like that will show to your students that you care about them. That will encourage them even more.

Talk About Being Organized

Too many kids have trouble keeping track of their assignments and managing their time. These students end up cramming and doing their homework at the very last minute. You’ll want to help these kids improve by teaching them the value of being organised. Talk about the importance of doing a timeline where they could set daily and weekly deadlines to help them finish their tasks and assignments on time. A calendar of their project deadlines will be handy in assisting them to stay on top of things. With these tips, your students won’t have to end up stressed out because they’re late for another project or assignment.

Encourage Breaks

Ask your students about their study habits. Do they study for hours on end? Do they sit at their desk going from one chapter to another without stopping? That might be why some of them have a hard time retaining information. Encourage them to take breaks. Make them realise the importance of breaks and how these improve their concentration levels. Breaks also improve blood circulation, which helps them stay fit and healthy.

Remind Them to Eat Healthy

Your students might be stressed because of another reason. Are they eating well? If they’re subsisting on junk food, that could be another reason why they’re stressed. Their meals might not provide them with enough sustenance. Make sure you talk to their parents about that. The right diet helps kids a lot, especially growing kids. Healthy, nutritious meals keep them healthy and alert, which help them get their assignments done with ease. If the kids eat too late, or always insist on getting fast food, talk to the parents about that habit to see what can be changed. Maybe you can encourage them to take to healthier snacks.

The pandemic has affected plenty of families all over the world. Your student’s family might be among them. Reach out to the kids in your class. Ask them how they’re doing. Are they all right? How is their family? Are they stressed? Are they having trouble understanding any of the class lessons? Or maybe they’re having a hard time adjusting to the changes? Find out. Get to the bottom of the problem. If you see signs that your students are stressed, you need to know why. Don’t dismiss that, thinking it’s not your problem. It is. You want your kids to succeed. You’re there to provide support and help. Ask them if they need that support and assistance right now.

Rupali Karekar

Ms Karekar comes with over 20 years experience in content writing and content strategy in fields from journalism and content marketing. As head of international communications, she has been actively interacting with stakeholders like the student, teacher and parent community to ensure open channels of dialogue and passage of information between all parties. As a result, the school initiatives and stakeholder performances find the right platform and voice to share their achievements.

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