Six Ways Teachers Can Keep Homework From Overwhelming Students

Author: Anicah Brooks

Assigning homework can be difficult. You want to challenge your students, but how can you do this without putting too much pressure on them? Here are some tips for teachers to keep homework from being too stressful.

Keep Homework from Overwhelming Students

1. Always have a reason for assigning homework. Only give homework that will be beneficial to the students’ learning, never merely to keep them busy.

2. Stick with a general homework schedule. If you keep consistency in your homework distribution, it allows students to manage their personal lives more efficiently.

Let’s say every day you assign a chapter of reading and a video, then every week a small writing assignment is due. This agenda helps students have accurate expectations for time management, completing assignments so they can be prepared for class.

On the other hand, if one week you assign three chapters, and the next you assign one, anxiety levels will increase and students will not know what to expect each week. You’ll be labeled unpredictable and hard to trust.

A syllabus at the beginning of the year solves much of this. Alternatively, posting a monthly schedule is also helpful.

3. Give examples for homework. Whether it’s an essay or science project, a sample can be invaluable to your pupils. If you are a math teacher, allow your students to look at a question similar to what they will see in the homework.

4. Ask for student tutors who can volunteer to help their peers. Often, homework can be stressful for kids simply because they don’t understand it.

Find a student who fully understands the material and is friendly. Peer tutors are helpful for outsourcing one-on-one guidance, and encourages those tutors to continue paying attention in class.

5. Talk to other teachers. Ask around to see what kind of homework the other teachers are handing out. You might find you are expecting too much.  Are you and another teacher both assigning an essay due the same week? If you can, work around the schedules of other teachers, and ask them to do the same.

6. If you are assigning a project with multiple components, try breaking it up into a few different parts. For example if the assignment is one part paper, one part presentation, and one part questionnaire, assign them a week or so apart. Walk your students through each task as needed. This makes the process less stressful to both you and the students, and makes planning easier on everyone.

Assigning homework is always challenging, but hopefully these tips have motivated you to continue balancing your student’s homework schedule so they remain anxiety-free and excited to be under your tutelage. Give these tips a shot next week in your lesson planning and see how it goes!

Read Teacher Time Management Is Not A Paradox to learn about combating stress in your own schedule.

About the Author

Anicah Brooks

Anicah Brooks loves writing and is a member of Word Weavers International. She is an avid fan of historical facts and her travels to places like Australia, Spain, and Italy has made her a resource among her peers for information on international cultures. She enjoys spending time in coffee shops with her friends and family.

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