Why Is Homework Hard for Some Kids?

Why Is Homework Hard for Some Kids
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Are you constantly wondering why your child is struggling with their homework despite putting in hours of effort? You’re not alone! Homework can be a daunting challenge for many kids and parents alike.  Whether your child is in elementary or middle school or beyond, keeping up with homework can be a temporary or long-term issue. 

Key Takeaways

      • Parents can help their children overcome homework struggles with tailored strategies and support.

      • Foster an encouraging environment, maintain communication with teachers, and provide access to helpful resources for successful learning journeys.

      • Motivate your child to develop a love of learning by implementing creative approaches and healthy homework habits!

    why do kids struggle with homework infographic

    As parents, it’s disheartening to see our children study for hours yet still face difficulty in retaining information, especially when dealing with more challenging assignments. The reasons for these struggles can be diverse, including but not limited to:

        • anxiety

        • learning issues

        • attention problems

        • low motivation

      Grasping these reasons allows you to tailor homework strategies to your child’s unique needs and capabilities.

      Homework Anxiety

      Homework anxiety can present itself in various forms, such as procrastination, avoidance, and emotional distress, all of which can hinder your child’s learning experience. This anxiety often stems from a fear of failure or feeling overwhelmed by the workload.

      So, how can we help our children conquer this anxiety and confidently tackle more challenging assignments? Strategies to alleviate homework anxiety include setting achievable goals, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, and seeking support from teachers and parents who can answer questions and provide guidance.

      Empowering our children with these strategies enhances their readiness to tackle their homework challenges directly.

      Learning Issues or Lack of Skills

      Children may experience difficulty with homework due to various learning challenges, such as:

          • ADHD

          • Learning disabilities

          • Executive functioning difficulties

          • Language or communication disorders

        These issues can make it harder for kids to comprehend and retain the information they need to complete their homework successfully.

        But, with the right support and strategies, these obstacles can be overcome. As guardians, we need to be a good example of effective study habits and offer customized help that addresses our child’s particular learning challenges. This way, we can help them develop the skills and confidence needed to tackle even the most challenging assignments.

        Attention Problems

        Attention problems, such as ADHD, inattentiveness, and distractibility, can all negatively affect a child’s ability to complete their homework. These challenges can make it difficult for kids to stay focused on their tasks, leading to frustration and difficulty completing assignments.

        However, with the right strategies and support, kids can still succeed. Aiding children with attention issues to stay motivated and focused on their homework involves:

            • Simplifying tasks into smaller, manageable parts

            • Offering frequent breaks

            • Utilizing visual cues to maintain focus

            • Offering micro rewards for completing tasks

          These strategies can help incentivize them to stay focused and achieve their goals. To learn more about homework strategies, read my blog 40 Top Parenting Tips for Navigating Homework Challenges.

          40 top parenting tips for navigating howework challenges

          Low Motivation

          Low motivation can result from various factors, such as a lack of interest in the subject, fear of failure, or lack of confidence. When children lack motivation, they may find it difficult to stay dedicated to completing their homework, leading to procrastination and avoidance.

          What actions can you, as a parent, take to elevate your child’s motivation? By understanding the reasons behind your child’s low motivation, you can provide tailored support and encouragement to help them overcome their struggles. This might involve helping them find a personal connection to the subject, reassuring them of their abilities, or offering rewards for completing tasks.

          Procrastination

          Procrastination can lead to last-minute cramming and poor performance, as children may rush through their work, resulting in subpar results and a sense of remorse. But why do kids procrastinate in the first place?

          Children may procrastinate due to a variety of factors, such as lack of motivation, fear of failure, or feeling overwhelmed. To help them conquer procrastination, consider setting achievable goals, breaking tasks into smaller components, planning a schedule, and requesting assistance from parents and teachers.

          Poor Sense of Time

          A poor sense of time can make it hard for kids to stay on top of their homework schedule and meet deadlines, leading to incomplete assignments and lower grades. This could be attributed to various factors, such as developmental factors, poor executive functioning, attention issues, and lack of routine and structure.

          Aiding children with a poor sense of time involves:

              • Establishing a consistent routine

              • Simplifying tasks into smaller parts

              • Utilizing timers and alarms

              • Offering positive reinforcement as a means of motivation

            Aiding children with a poor sense of time infographic

            With these homework tips and strategies in place, kids will be better equipped to manage their time effectively, take a short break when needed, and stay on track with their homework.

            Immaturity

            Immaturity can cause kids to struggle with taking responsibility for their homework, as they may lack understanding of the importance of completing assignments or have difficulty focusing on tasks. However, with practice and guidance, children can overcome these challenges and grow in maturity.

            Guardians can enable their children to assume responsibility for their homework and develop maturity by offering guidance, setting clear expectations, and aiding them in developing organizational and time management skills. As children mature, they’ll be better equipped to handle their homework responsibilities effectively.

            The Role of Parents in Homework Support

            As parents, we play a vital role in helping our children with their homework. We want to be as positive as possible and avoid toxic parenting patterns. We can assist our children in overcoming their homework struggles and becoming more autonomous learners by:

                • Offering guidance

                • Creating a conducive studying environment

                • Establishing a regular schedule

                • Maintaining communication with teachers

              In addition to providing support, parents can foster an environment that encourages studying by:

                  • Creating a peaceful, comfortable space for their child to work

                  • Limiting distractions

                  • Supplying essential materials like paper, pencils, and a calculator

                Communicating with Your Child's Teacher

                Maintaining open communication with your child’s teacher about homework concerns is key in staying updated about their progress and fostering a supportive partnership for their learning. By attending parent-teacher conferences, sending emails, or making phone calls, we can proactively address any issues and create a positive school experience for our children. It’s essential to talk with the teacher to ensure a smooth learning journey.

                In addition to staying informed about your child’s progress, communicating with their teacher can help you gain valuable insights and advice on how to support your child’s learning at home. By maintaining an open line of communication with your child’s teacher, you’ll be better equipped to:

                    • Understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses

                    • Identify areas where your child may need additional support

                    • Collaborate on strategies to enhance your child’s learning

                    • Stay updated on classroom activities and assignments

                    • Address any concerns or questions you may have

                  Addressing Homework Struggles

                  Addressing common homework struggles effectively involves implementing strategies tailored to your child’s specific needs and capabilities. When we use positive parenting, creating routines, for example, can help your child stay organized and focused on their goals, while using incentives can motivate them to complete tasks and strive for their best.

                  In addition to these strategies, consider incorporating creative approaches in your child’s homework routine, such as using items around the house to demonstrate math problems or engaging with new vocabulary words in different settings. By tailoring your approach to your child’s specific needs, you can help them overcome their homework struggles and develop a lifelong love of learning.

                  Promoting Healthy Homework Habits

                  Promoting healthy homework habits like time management, organization, and effective study techniques is vital in securing your child’s academic success. By actively supporting your child’s development of these habits, you can help them become more independent and confident learners.

                  Encourage your child to break tasks into smaller components, create a homework schedule, and develop effective study techniques that work best for their learning style. Encouraging them to eat better or get their brain working with nutrients such as magnesium and essential fatty acids. 

                  Utilizing Homework Resources

                  In today’s digital age, there’s an abundance of homework resources available to support your child’s learning, such as educational websites, study guides, and tutoring services. Assisting your child in finding and making use of the best resources for their needs equips them with the tools necessary to excel, even in the most challenging assignments.

                  Parents can help their children access and make use of educational websites and tools, such as:

                      • ST Math for math assignments

                      • Khan Academy for a wide range of subjects

                      • Quizlet for flashcards and study guides

                      • Duolingo for language learning

                    Additionally, consider seeking out tutoring services or study guides to provide further support for your child’s learning. With the right resources at their fingertips, your child will be better equipped to tackle their homework challenges and succeed in their academic journey.

                    Next Steps to Support Homework Struggles 

                    Understanding the reasons behind your child’s homework struggles and implementing tailored strategies can make a significant difference in their academic success. By offering guidance, communicating with teachers, and promoting healthy homework habits, we can empower our children to overcome their challenges and develop a lifelong love of learning. 

                    Remember, with the right support and resources, every child can excel in their homework endeavors, turning those once-daunting assignments into opportunities for growth and success.

                    Frequently Asked Questions About Managing Homework

                    How to do homework with ADHD?

                    Having a set routine can make studying with ADHD easier – breaking up tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks with clear timeframes and study buddies can be helpful. Creating a ‘completed work' folder to store evidence of successes, setting up a homework station, rewarding progress and staying on top of homework submission all serve as important reminders for motivation.

                    Is homework good or not?

                    Homework can be beneficial when done in moderation, as it reinforces what is taught at school and helps develop good study habits. When following the 10-minute rule, it has the greatest benefit for high school students.

                    What are the benefits of no homework?

                    Reduced workloads and healthier lifestyles are just two of the many benefits of less homework, offering students increased motivation and productivity as well as a balanced lifestyle.

                    Is 6 hours of homework too much?

                    With the National Center for Education Statistics finding that high school students receive an average of 6.8 hours and elementary students 4.7 hours of homework each week, it is evident that 6 hours of homework is too much – even more than what is recommended by experts. 

                    Excessive homework can lead to stress, fatigue, and a lack of time for extracurricular activities. It can also lead to a decrease in academic performance, as students become overwhelmed and unable to focus on their studies. To ensure that students are able to get the most out of their education, it is important to limit the amount

                    How can I be good at homework?

                    To be good at homework, create a plan, budget your time, find a place to focus, make sure you're comfortable and don't get distracted, and take short breaks in between tasks. Doing so will help you understand the assignment, develop responsibility, work independently, and finish faster.

                    Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

                    Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

                    Are you looking for SOLUTIONS for your struggling child or teen? 

                    Dr. Roseann and her team are all about science-backed solutions, so you are in the right place! 

                    Grab your complimentary copy of
                    147 Therapist-Endorsed Self-Regulation Strategies for Children: A Practical Guide for Parents

                    You can get her books for parents and professionals, including: It’s Gonna Be OK™: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health, Teletherapy Toolkit™ and Brain Under Attack: A Resource For Parents and Caregivers of Children With PANS, PANDAS, and Autoimmune Encephalopathy.

                    If you are a business or organization that needs proactive guidance to support employee mental health or an organization looking for a brand representative, check out Dr. Roseann’s professional speaking page to see how we can work together.

                    Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of  media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.”

                    Dr. Roseann - Brain Behavior Reset Parent Toolkit

                    She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional (CIMHP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

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