24.01.2012 Art

Stress-Saving Tips for Parent and their school children

Are You Stressed Out About School and Homework Battles?
Parent show your loveParent show your love
24.01.2012 LISTEN

JACK has been a school attendance officer for over 25 years. A truant youth is therefore hard pressed to come up with an excuse jack has not already heard. 'I've been told everything by the kids. 'he says,' such as 'I thought I was going to be sick today'…'my grandfather in Alaska died.' Jack's favorite excuse? It was from three boys who claimed they couldn't find the school because it was too foggy.

”These embarrassingly shaky alibis illustrate the aversion many youths have towards school, often ranging from indifference ('it's all right. I guess”) to outright hostility (school stinks! I hate it).Samuel, for example would get up for school and immediately feel stick to his stomach, said he. 'I'd get close to the school, and I'd get so sweaty and nervous…. I just had to get back to my house.” Many youth similarly suffer an obsessive dread of school-something doctors call school phobia. It is often triggered by school violence, peer cruelty, and pressure to get good grades. Such youth may (with a bit of parental persuasion) go to school, but they suffer constant turmoil and even physical distress.

Not surprising an alarming number of youths chooses not to go to school at all! In the United states alone, some two and a half million student of elementary and secondary schools are absent every day! An Article in the New York Times added that so many (about one third) are “chronically absent” in New York City high schools “that it is nearly impossible to teach them”

Even in Ghana, other youth are taking more drastic steps. “School was boring, too strict,” said a young man named Kwakye. He dropped out of high school (secondary school). So did a girl named Agyeiwa. She was having difficulty with her schoolwork. “How could I do the work if I didn't understand what I was reading?” she asked. “I was just sitting there getting dumber and dumber, so I left”

Admittedly, serious problems plague school systems around the world. But is this the reason to lose all interest in school and drop out?

What effects might dropping out have on your child's life later on?

As parent what can we do to help our wards stay in school and ease the stress as far as school and homework battling is concern?

Michael returned to school to get a high school equivalency diploma. When asked why, he said. “I realized that I needed an education.” But just what is 'education'? The ability to recite an impressive array of facts? This no more makes an education than a pile of bricks makes a house.

Education should prepare you for a successful adult life. Allen Austill, a school dean for 18 years, spoke of “the education that teaches you how to think, to solve problems, what is rational and irrational, the fundamental capacity to think clearly, to know what data is and to know the connections between parts and whole. To make those judgments and distinctions, to learn how to learn,”

And how does school fit in? a wise man once said “to give to the inexperienced ones shrewdness, to a young man knowledge and thinking ability.” Yes, inexperience goes with youth. School, however, can help you nurture and cultivate thinking ability. This is the ability not merely to recite facts but also to analyze them and generate productive ideas from them. Though many have criticized the way some schools go about teaching, school does force you to use your mind. True, solving geometry problems or memorizing a list of historical dates may not seem relevant to your life at the time. But as Barbara Mayer wrote in The High School Survival Guide: “Not everyone is going to remember all the facts and bits of knowledge which teachers like to put in tests, but the skills such as learning how to study, and how to plan, will never be forgotten.”

Three university professors who studied the long term effect of education similarly concluded that “the better educated do have wider and deeper knowledge not merely of bookish facts but also of the contemporary world, and that they are more likely to seek out knowledge and be attuned to sources of information……. These differences are found to have endured despite aging and many years of removal from school” _ The Enduring Effects of Education.

I can't tell you how many parents have told me that they hate the homework wars. They absolutely dread the nightly routine of fighting with their child to get them to do homework, and/or unfinished class work. And it's not all fun and games for the child either. This is my advice and it works!

Let your child do his own homework by himself. That's it.... That really is it. You can set up parameters. Such as, set a timer for each subject. I usually recommend asking the teacher how much time on average your child should be spending on a subject and then set the timer for that amount.

Then tell your child that they only have to work for that amount of time, but you must see them working hard for the whole time. Whatever they get done, that's all they have to do.

You then write a note to the teacher telling them, 'My child worked diligently for 20 minutes (or whatever time) and this is what they were able to do.'

Now I also recommend that you have a conversation with the teacher ahead of time and tell them this is what you are planning to do.

Also, give breaks in between assignments for other activities, usually 10 minutes is enough of a break, but you know your child best so use your judgment. Let your child go and do something that's fun during the break.

Make sure the area where your child does their homework is well lit, quiet and free from distractions.

Let your child choose the order of subjects they want to do. Try to remember that education is about acquiring knowledge and skills and not about finishing 50 problems for math homework.

If your child can demonstrate a competency in an area by completing 10 or 20 problems within the allotted time, isn't that the most important thing?

If you have a project or a large report to do, break down the tasks with your child and work on small parts every day.

Read a portion of the book every day, taking notes or highlighting important facts, characters, and plot lines.

Do research and add those notes. Write a rough draft. Edit and produce a final copy.

For a project, gather information and materials. Break down the tasks and do 1 or 2 parts each night till it's done.

If you need more days to finish, this should be an accommodation on the IEP or 504 plans. These are strategies that children will use throughout their lives.

Stress and anxiety is a brick wall to learning. If we can take those things out of the picture, children will have an easier time learning new things and retaining the information.

It's important, as a parent, to protect a child's emotional health. By providing these things and communicating to the teacher, you will enable your child to learn without all of the stress and anxiety. You will find that these strategies work.

You will find that the homework battles will go away and you and the teacher will have a clear understanding of what your child is able to do independently.

This also alleviates the anxiety and stress involved when kids look at the amount of work they have and give up before they even begin.

If they know that they are not stuck for the night doing an endless amount of work, they actually get quite a bit done.

My son would even tell me when the time ran out, 'Mom, I only have a couple left. I can finish it.' Confidence and self esteem return.

You can start to be a parent again instead of the mean homework warden. Every single parent that I have recommended this to has reported back to me that it's such a difference for their whole family and the homework wars go away.

Try it. What have you got to lose, except for the nightly stress?

Every child is unique. Every child has different skills and potential. The same goes with every child's ability to learn at school. Some student can grasp school lessons faster as compared to other children. How your child performs in school should not be compared to other children because each child has a different learning pace.

If you are brilliant students you would need to compete with other students who get good grades for you to be able to keep your rank in school. At the same time, average students would also need to strive also hard in order for them not to fail the class. This is the reason is why having a home tutor can be very beneficial to fast, average, and slow learners alike.

One of the best and most proven methods of ensuring that parent and their wards are free from the stresses of school and homework battles is to get a professional and well qualify home tutor who will give closer attention to your wards need than is possible in a classroom environment.

To learn more about private tuition and how you can request for a home tutor Visit Excellent Home Tuition

Also note that no matter your class/form/level of your education, it is always great to read personal development books like these. We have copies of these E-books and it is available on our web page for free download. The good news is that you can download and forward to your friends, relatives, workmates and even neighbors for free.

For further information or enqiries
Email: [email protected]
Website: or

ModernGhana Links

Join our Newsletter