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My child is struggling at school

My child is struggling at school
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With the start of the new school year, now is the perfect time to get into a new homework routine. This is often an area of contention in many households, but there are ways you can support your child if they are struggling.

As children settle into their new classroom and adapt to a different teacher, the stresses of their work both in and out of school can lead to frustrations and anger. It doesn’t matter what age they are, they can still find some areas of their work difficult. As a parent you need to be there as a calming influence and to help where you can.

It’s not your fault

When children sit down to do their homework, you might find they get cross and shout at you. This can be hard to deal with, but it’s not because you’ve done anything wrong. If they’re finding something difficult or hard to understand, they will often take their frustrations out on the person closest to them, who they know won’t judge them. If this happens, it’s best to wait until they’ve calmed down and sit with them to go through what’s wrong and where you can help.

Put the work down

There are times when the work just isn’t getting done because your son or daughter is too upset or not in the right mood. Rather than struggling on and making the situation worse, it’s a good idea to let them have a short break. Time away from their work to play, watch television or go outside can help cool them down and make them more relaxed. When they return they are more likely to make an effort, without it turning into a battle.

Don’t push them

It’s not always easy to talk things through with children if they’re too angry or upset. You don’t want to inflame the situation, so wait until the atmosphere is more peaceful before approaching them. Then you can discuss what’s bothering them, whether it’s occurred in school or to do with their homework, and find ways to resolve the issue.

Don’t do it for them

My child is struggling at schoolWhen homework becomes too much of a struggle, there is the desire to simply do it for them or help them too much. You might want it to be right and look good, but they also need to make mistakes in order to learn from them. By doing the work themselves, it will show the teacher what they know and highlight areas where they need additional support. You can help them to understand the subject or what’s required of them, but then leave them to get on with it.

Have a limit

Younger children shouldn’t be spending hours doing homework, so make sure you monitor how long it’s taking. For primary children 30 minutes is a good time limit and if it seems to be taking too long discuss this with the teacher. It might be that they don’t quite understand what they’re doing. Secondary pupils will have more homework, but you should still keep an eye on what they’re doing.

Become organised

Help your child to be more organised and they will become more efficient with their homework. Provide them with a clean and quiet space to do their work and make sure they know what they need to do and for when.

Talk to the school

Contact the school straight away if you’re having problems. They’re always there to help, whether it’s regarding homework or a problem within school.

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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