High school students have a lot on their plates. Today's parents often lament that kids' schedules are far more hectic than their own schedules were when they were teenagers. But for many high school students, a familiar foe their parents have no doubt encountered is proving a considerable source of stress.
Homework has long been the bane of high schoolers' existence. Studies regarding just how much homework is being assigned to teenagers are somewhat outdated, which makes it difficult to determine just how much work kids are being asked to do after school lets out. A 2014 survey from the University of Phoenix found that high school teachers assign, on average, 3.5 hours of homework per week. Multiply that figure by five, which is the number of different teachers many high school students have in a typical school day, and the survey concluded that high school students may be expected to complete as much as 17.5 hours of homework per week.
Though the study, which is the only one of its kind to be conducted in recent years, is older, there's little reason to suspect today's high school students are being asked to do any less than their predecessors were in 2014.
While parents might not be able to do much to lessen their children's homework workload, they can take steps to ensure their homes are as homework-friendly as possible. The following are three ways to do just that.
1. Create a communal homework table.
The Harvard Graduate School of Education notes that youngsters who seem reluctant to do their homework may benefit from doing their afterschool work at a communal table. With parents nearby, such students may feel less lonely and may be less likely to procrastinate if they know mom or dad are nearby. Students who are not reluctant to do their homework may benefit from working quietly in their bedrooms.
2. Clear the area of distractions.
Distractions like televisions, devices that are not necessary to complete assignments and even younger siblings can make it hard for teenagers to concentrate on their work. Designate a time each day for homework, ensuring that the television is off and that devices have been placed on "Do Not Disturb." In addition, high school students with younger siblings can expect their brothers and sisters to be finished with their homework first. Make sure youngsters recognize the importance of staying quiet until everyone has finished their homework. Encourage younger siblings to leave the homework area and play quietly or read elsewhere in the home.
3. Include a break between school and homework time.
Much like parents may like a few minutes to unwind when getting home from work at night, kids likely won't want to dive right into their homework after getting home from school. A break between the school day and homework time can help kids clear their heads so they're more capable of concentrating when they sit down to do their work.
A good work environment at home can help kids live up to their academic potential.