Empowered Parents: 3 Options You Have Right Now to Shift Out of Homework Overwhelm

Now that the new school year is well under way, parents and students are feeling the usual pressure of staying on top of school responsibilities, particularly homework.

Here in the United States, most schools have implemented the Common Core Standards, which according to most parents, teachers and students that I have heard from, feel it is placing way too much pressure on everyone involved.

Students are expected to do too much academic work with little time left for physical and leisure activity, which we all know is not only important, but crucial for the physical, mental and emotional development for children of all ages.

What I’m hearing from parents, as well as many teachers, is a sense of frustration and even helplessness. Kids are coming home after a long day at school, only to have to sit and focus on homework for another hour or even two!

I can’t speak for everyone, but I know after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is gear up for more work in the evening…but that is what we are expecting of our youth these days.

When speaking with parents, I’ve found that many feel and believe they have no control over this issue. In fact, they believe their children HAVE TO do as the schools say. To me, that is not freedom, that is disempowerment!

I’d like to take some time to share with you some basic tips for helping you to navigate this overwhelm that you and your kids may be feeling when it comes to school responsibilities and the struggle of homework.

Let’s look at a few things. When it comes to sitting down and doing homework, are your kids:

  • Fighting you and resisting your attempts to have them get it done
  • Crying, stressed and overwhelmed when they get home
  • Burnt out when it comes time to do more work 
  • Being turned off when it comes to learning and school, even though you know they are natural learners
  • Bored with focusing on academics for the majority of the day
  • Acting out in school
  • Lying about the amount of homework they have to do
  • Finding it difficult to focus at the end of the day

If any of these ring true, perhaps it’s time rethink homework.

Here is a great resource about the damage homework is doing to our students: ​Race To Nowhere

When it comes to our kids, their negative behavior is an indication of needs not being met. As adults, parents and teachers alike, it is our responsibility to make sure the needs of every child is being met so they can learn and grow at a pace that is right for them.

Instead we force a one-size-fits-all approach to education and behavior. There is a belief that when it comes to homework, kids just need to do it.

Ask Couple of Questions to Yourself

  • What is the end result I am hoping for my child(ren) to achieve?
    Most likely the answer is happiness, confidence, success, intelligence and well-being.
  • Is homework overwhelm in my children (and myself) bringing my children closer or further away from being happy, confident, successful and well-rounded?
    We all know that stress causes imbalance in the physical, mental and emotional body. So why are we insisting that our kids complete their homework at the cost of their overall well-being?

So what are your options?

  • 1
    Remember that you always get to choose. Stand in your power of choice and remember that you have the right to say ‘this is too much for my kid’. Just because a school or teacher is requiring a certain amount of homework to be done, does not mean you and your family need to comply. Again come back to what is most important for your child and family.

    You may need to consult a doctor and talk about the stress related issues that are caused by too much homework and academics. The right doctor can inform your school that your child can only perform a certain amount of after-school work. The school cannot legally penalize your child for not doing this work when it comes to his or her health.
  • 2
    Ban together with other parents. You are not the only family dealing with this difficulty. This is what Parent Teacher Associations are for. If a number of parents stand up and say ‘enough is enough’ the school will likely make changes. Schools need to be listening to parents and kids, not legislatures, when it comes to the educational needs of children
  • 3
    Connect back to your spiritual center (Source, Spirit, God, Goddess, the Universe or however you prefer to view this connection). Center yourself in order to make clear, informed choices for you and your family. Ask Spirit to guide you in making the best choices that are in the highest good for all involved.

    Then meditate on the essence of what you would like to bring into your life. It may be freedom, empowerment, peace, confidence, certainty, trust or well-being. Whatever it is for you, just know as you focus on bringing more of these qualities into your life, through the Law of Attraction, the Universe supports you in experiencing more of the same and in turn, this will support your children.

If you are interested in learning more about what the research shows about homework and education, Alfie Kohn, author and speaker on human behavior, education, and parenting, has much to offer on the topic. As author of The Homework Myth and many other books on parenting and education, Alfie offers facts and tips on this website

About the Author Julie K

Youth Empowerment Coach, Trainer and Mentor Julie Kleinhans works with parents, teachers, and youth practitioners by supporting them to empower the kids in their lives to be successful and embrace their own uniqueness. Get her FREE Guide for Parents and Teachers on What Every Kid Needs to Know to Be Empowered at SuccessfulKidsRevolution.com


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