Skip to content

How To Relieve Stress From Homework

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

My girls returned to school last week, and although it was nice to return to a regular schedule, I couldn’t help the knot in my stomach. A return to school means homework, frustration, missed assignments, confusion and a few tears. In this fast-paced world with a million distractions, it’s hard to stay on top of after school activities, play dates and homework assignments.

I swear this year will be different. I’m putting a homework plan in place and sticking to it. Here are a few tips on how to keep homework in check and at least dial down the stress.

1. Keep a family due date calendar in a public area in your house. Write assignments and due dates on it. Get crazy if you want and color code each child or have separate calendars for each one.

2. Designate a place for homework. Give each child a folder and have them keep them together in a shared area. On-going assignments, research and more won’t get lost and you won’t spend time trying to collect everything.

3. Check backpacks every night for teacher notes and assignments. If I had a dollar for every time my kid answers “no” to the “do you have homework” question, I’d be rich. I always take a peek in the backpack and tend to find forgotten assignments or papers stuffed into pockets. Don’t always take them at their word. With older children, give them the responsibility of checking the backpack thoroughly every evening.

4. Schedule a homework time at the same time every day. This isn’t ground breaking or new, but it is important to find a quiet time when you and your child can focus on school work. It’s hard when soccer is on Monday at 5:00 p.m., piano Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., but work to find a time of day where distractions are limited. Obviously, parents should not be doing homework, but offer a resource for proof reading, finding math mistakes or giving guidance. It’s also helpful if you read a book, work on the computer or do something productive during that time. Then everyone is working and focusing at the same time and the television is off. Let your child decide what time and location is best for them.

5. Talk to the teacher if your child has difficulties routinely completing assignments. If your child is consistently getting overly frustrated or requiring continual hand holding to finish homework every night, investigate the why. Ask your child why they are struggling with the assignment – did they not understand the directions? Is the assignment too hard or above their level? Or did they not understand the skill when it was taught in class? Work on finding the basis for the frustration and then talk to the teacher. If a child is completely lost or confused about an assignment, write a note to the teacher explaining the issue and ask that they explain it again and give your child an extension on the due date.

6. Have a friend or teacher resource to double check assignments. Once again, if I had a dollar for every time my kids tell me they can’t remember how many pages they need to work on, or the due date or how many questions to answer…I have both of my girls pair up with a homework buddy. This is a friend, who is just as responsible or more so than my child to call when those questions pop up. Or encourage your child’s teacher to post assignments to a class Twitter account, website, blog or app.

 7. Refuse to get upset about homework and give your child an opportunity to earn free time. It happens in homes everywhere, every night. Screaming matches between parent and child over homework. No one likes to do something they don’t enjoy, but it is best to get the ugly out of the way and then move on to something satisfying. Homework is usually not enjoyed, so don’t expect your child to jump for joy when you tell them to turn off the television and get going on that math worksheet. Has your child ever responded with “thanks mom for yelling at me, I’m really ready now to sit down and focus on my homework.” Instead, calmly set parameters for your child and then step back., “From now on, homework is going to be on you. I’m not going to yell or get upset. You are capable of this work, but I am available to answer questions. If you calmly put in the time needed to complete your assignments, you will earn time on electronics. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to use the electronics in this house. Either way is fine by me.” Allow your child to make the decision about getting homework completed. If they make the decision not to complete homework, a price is paid at school and at home. This may not go over well in the beginning, but standing strong and calmly should turn things around.

8. Determine if your child is receiving excessive homework. The National PTA and the National Education Association endorse a 10-minute rule. The maximum amount of homework should not exceed 10 minutes per grade level per night. That is, a 1st-grader should have no more than 10 minutes of homework, a 6th-grader no more than 60 minutes, and a 12th-grader no more than two hours. If your child is taking longer than the recommended guidelines, look at the amount of work and their pace. If it seems excessive, talk to the teacher and let them know how long your child spends each night.

9. Don’t over schedule your kids. If your kids go from school to activities to homework after 9:00 p.m. and then bed somewhere around 10, stop and look at the balance in your lives. We have a tendency to schedule every minute to give our children a wide range of experiences and skills. The kids pay the price when they miss out on having free time to play and imagine and let go. It’s been said before, but strive to find a balance between school, homework, activities and down time.

10. Stay in touch with the teacher. Your child, their teacher and you, their parent form a team in your child’s education. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to the teacher and staying on top of your child’s progress. If the parent and teacher aren’t on the same page, the student will suffer. Share any concerns with the teacher and ask they they keep you in the loop.

Don’t look at this list of 10 and feel like it’s impossible. Pick a few topics and focus on those.  I can’t say I’m perfect in all of these areas. I struggled last year in helping my kids stay on top of their assignments and due dates. I took their word when they said they didn’t have homework. We had several panicked nights of trying to complete an assignment that was supposed to stretch over a few weeks. I also didn’t want to be THAT parent who constantly emailed and called the teacher. I tried to only touch base when things got really stressful. That was usually too late. Our principle encouraged me to stay on top of things this year with my child’s teacher. Don’t wait until it gets really bad – nip it in the bud before it has a chance to blow up.

What do you do to ease the homework stress?

/0 Comments/by Susan Wells

By Lori Lite

Just say the word homework to most teens, children, or parents and watch their whole mood change as every cell of their mind and body heads into stress mode. Holidays, weekends, and downtime is a great time to have a new look at how you and your children approach homework. Reducing homework stress can turn homework into a positive experience that teaches your child lifelong skills. When homework is too extensive and time consuming it can have a negative impact on your entire family. Stress can get in the way of a child’s ability to learn and retain information. Take a good look at your child’s homework routine. If your child ends up crying, sleep deprived or quitting activities to have more time to complete assignments they may be experiencing stress overload.

Tips: Reducing Homework Stress:

  • Switch to eBooks or Purchase a second set of used textbooks to keep at home. This is especially helpful for children that have difficulty juggling assignments and organizing. It is also a healthy choice for your child’s spine. makes it easy and affordable.
  • Break it down. Set smaller goals to complete a portion of the assignment.  Reward your child with a break.  Let your child set a timer to alert them that their break is over. This eliminates power struggles and empowers children.
  • Encourage children to review work each night so that when it is time for a test they are not overloaded with information.
  • Use affirmations or positive statements like, “I can do it.” “I am relaxed and calm.” ” I am learning new things.”
  • Set up an area in your home dedicated to homework and studying. An area clear of chaos makes it easier to focus and feel calm. Have an aromatherapy option. A diffuser with Peppermint can help children focus and concentrate. Peace & Calm can help children calm down.
  • Teach children relaxation techniques. Take a deep breath in and say “Ahhhhh” to release anger and frustration. Stress management should be introduced during calm moments so they can be implemented when needed.
  • Have a healthy snack or even a meal before homework. It is difficult to concentrate and feel balanced when hungry or eating sugar. I actually served a full dinner at 3:30 when my kids got off the bus and before they sat down for homework. This adjustment made a huge difference.
  • Brain breaks should be taken. Don’t expect children to be able to sit still for long periods of time. Let them move as needed. Blow bubbles outside in the fresh air. Do jumping jacks, run, or have a good laugh. Exercising and deep breathing brings oxygen to your child’s brain and reduces stress.
  • Stay positive about and during homework. Children listen and internalize negative statements and movements. A positive hopeful attitude is contagious. If you believe they can do it…they will believe they can do it.
  • Help your child understand directions, organize, and create a time management plan.  Many children waste time by doing the homework incorrectly because they did not understand the directions. Going over them ahead of time saves time and frustration. Don’t forget your teen. They have more on their plate and could use your guidance and experience.
  • Ask your children what type of music helps them to feel more relaxed when they work. Allow them to find what works for them. Indigo Dreams: Kid’s Relaxation Music was created specifically for children. It is relaxing and uplifting. Some children need complete quiet and some do better with background noise. Let them learn what works best for them and honor it.

Even with taking steps to alleviate stress, experts warn that difficult homework assignments and the pressure to complete multiple projects can cause anxiety, frustration, and even anger for kids. Homework that creates an anxiety-ridden child is defeating the overall goal of creating a well-rounded, balanced, successful child. Parents need to step in and get involved if they see this happening to their child. Be an advocate for your child. If they are overwhelmed by homework and it is affecting their quality of life, speak up. You child’s teacher will appreciate your honesty.

Indigo Dreams shorter stories with relaxation techniques for younger child. Indigo Ocean Dreams longer stories with relaxation techniques for older children.Indigo Teen Dreams guided instructions with relaxation techniques for teens.Indigo Dreams: Adult Relaxation guided instructions with relaxation techniques for adults.Indigo Dreams: Garden of Wellness stories for all children includes bubble blowing technique to release anger and  positive statements to encourage healthy eating.Indigo Dreams: 3 CD Set: All 3 children’s CDs: 3 Hours of stories, techniques & stories


Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite is a freelance blogger, social media strategist, parenting expert,  and successful entrepreneur. Her line of books and CDs are designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, doctors, and yoga instructors. Lori’s award winning books received national attention on Shark Tank and her sort after accessible tips have been featured in hundreds of publications to include: CNN Living, Real Simple Magazine, USA Today, Family Circle, Working Mother Magazine, and Web MD. For more information visit  Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.