Many parents want to help their children with their coursework, especially when children get frustrated. Use this guide to develop a plan for helping your child work through their schoolwork challenges.
Student Frustration With Schoolwork
Many factors can lead to students becoming frustrated with their daily schoolwork. Students may have difficulty organizing their notes or materials or find time management challenging. Sometimes, they are afraid of making mistakes or don’t know how to ask for help from adults. Misunderstanding or a lack of understanding about the subject matter is another common reason students may grow upset with their schoolwork.
Some assign a lack of control to a student’s growing frustration with schoolwork. People like to feel in control of their lives and having to do schoolwork can lead students to feel they don’t have a say in how they spend their time and energy. In these instances, frustration can lead to episodes where students refuse to do schoolwork and coursework.
When students become overwhelmed without parental intervention, their feelings can escalate into tantrums. Yale Medicine defines a tantrum as episodes that last longer than 10 minutes and involve crying, hitting, kicking, or stomping. While tantrums are common in younger children, it is less common as children enter grade school and learn to manage their emotions better.
Parents can intervene and use communicative and reinforcement methods to help locate the root of the frustration and encourage their children to complete schoolwork. Assisting children with schoolwork is an excellent way for parents to help and open a line of communication.
6 Tips for Helping Your Child With Schoolwork
Parents can have a significant impact on their child’s attitude toward schoolwork. Even if you don’t understand their coursework, you can develop a plan for when their frustration takes over and calm them down. For a good place to start, try these six steps for helping children with their schoolwork:
1. Acknowledge Your Child’s Frustration
When you notice your child becoming frustrated with their schoolwork, it is essential to validate their feelings and let them know it is OK they are feeling this way. Comfort them and use sympathetic statements, apologizing that their schoolwork is more difficult that day or pointing out that many people feel frustrated doing similar assignments.
Emotional validation is crucial in your child’s development. Validating their emotions can show your child their feelings are important to you and that you want to understand them, helping prevent children from acting out for attention. Acknowledging your child’s frustration helps build respect and shows that you care about their emotional state.
2. Help Your Child Understand the Assignment
Many children become frustrated with their schoolwork because they lack understanding of their assignments. When your child becomes frustrated with coursework, ask them to explain the assignment in their own words after you take time to calm them down. If you read over their assignment, you can see if there are any places where their understanding of the instructions doesn’t match up.
Even if you don’t know how to complete the assignment or the subject material, ensuring your child understands what they need to be doing can help clarify the approach they need to use. Remind your child that there is more than one way to approach assignments, so they can do what they need to complete their coursework.
3. Praise and Encourage Your Child
As your child makes new attempts to complete their schoolwork, you can help provide them with emotional support by praising their attempts and encouraging them to keep trying. Praise is incredibly powerful in building confidence and ensuring your child is willing to try new things in the future.
Try to focus on effort-based praise at this stage. This kind of praise focuses on the work your child attempts rather than their natural abilities. This kind of praise can give your child confidence when trying new things and help them feel less afraid of making mistakes.
4. Make Space for Schoolwork
Designate a space in your home specifically for schoolwork. Consider making this a more public space, like your kitchen or dining room, where you can monitor their mood and step in sooner when you notice they start to become frustrated.
Ensure this space is distraction-free so they can focus. Try to select an area where no one will watch TV or play music. You can help minimize distractions by avoiding using your phone or other electronic devices around them while they’re working.
5. Help Your Child Take Responsibility
While much of a student’s frustration comes from misunderstanding, sometimes children get frustrated because they see schoolwork as a burden or don’t see its importance. You can help your child develop a more positive association with their schoolwork by emphasizing the importance of learning.
When your child understands that coursework is less of a chore and that it helps them understand their subjects, they can change how they approach and think about their tasks.
6. Assist Your Child in Identifying Sources of Support
If your child’s frustration stems from not understanding the course material, encourage them to seek additional help. Have your child reach out to their teachers to see if they can receive further or one-on-one assistance, so they can help your child understand their subjects better. Other resources, like tutoring or the library, can also help your child take the initiative to deepen their understanding of coursework.
The Cyber School Difference
If you want to create a more personalized learning environment for your child, consider enrolling them in a cyber school instead of a traditional brick-and-mortar campus. When students learn at a cyber school, they can choose when and where they learn to optimize their learning preferences.
Students participate in live-streamed courses instructed by teachers or watch recordings on their schedule, so learning is in their control and allows them to learn how they do it best. If you establish a designated learning area, your child can use that space to focus on their classes.
Cyber schools also offer additional learning opportunities. Teachers can reach out to students to provide other chances to use their skills and interests while supporting students who need it. This learning environment fosters increased personalization, so your child can experience more individualized learning.
Personalize Your Child’s Learning With CCA
Helping your child work through schoolwork and associated frustration can be challenging. Having a plan to guide you through the process and creating a positive learning environment can help many parents who are asking themselves how they can help with their child’s schoolwork.
Commonwealth Charter Academy is a public K-12 cyber school available to all children in Pennsylvania. As a cyber school, we offer students the opportunity to set their learning pace and schedule to learn in a way that suits them and their schedule, creating a student-centered environment where they are responsible for their learning.
Families help decide the course choices for a more personalized approach to their child’s education. Although we’re an online institution, we offer student life opportunities, like field trips, clubs, and internships, to connect students and encourage them to follow their interests.
Contact CCA today to learn more information about our school!