School burnout is much more common then you think.
Joan Almon, Executive director of the U.S. Alliance for Childhood, calls it, “the dirty little secret of education.” Most kids enter Kindergarten inherently curious and ready to learn, but by the time they hit 10, 11 or 12 years of age, they’ve lost their love of learning. If your child is burnt out on school, try these tips to help reignite the spark.
Make Room for Family Time
“Family time is the perfect antidote for school burnout,” says child psychologist Dr. Lynne Kenney. Not only does family time strengthen the family as a unit, but it also gives children a welcome relief (and safe haven) from the everyday pressures of school, homework, and after school activities.
Incorporate Fun and Games into Learning
“Teach your kids that practicing math facts and spelling words can be fun,” says Wendy Young, founder of Kidlutions. She suggests taking a cue from “Akeelah and the Bee” and have your child jump rope while spelling words or practicing math facts. “Moving the body helps the brain kick into high gear,” says Young.
Encourage Learning by Doing
“Most children and teens learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process,” says Almon. Parents can enrich their children’s learning by creating real world opportunities that showcase the subjects and themes they are taught in school. For example, if your kids are taking French, have them create a French bistro in your kitchen, complete with French menus and signs. Giving your kids the opportunity to experience a subject in a hands-on and dynamic way will not only reinforce what they have already learned, but is likely to spark their interest in finding out more.
Work Smarter, Stress Less
There’s not doubt about it, homework can be stressful for everyone, which is why Young and Kenney recommend these tips to help your kids manage their stress and work more efficiently.
- Dedicate a consistent block of time each night for doing homework.
- If one night is light on homework, have your child use that block of time for “working ahead.”
- Create a “homework station” for your child that is stocked with school supplies, extra textbooks (which can often be purchased at Amazon) and a checklist of the day’s assignments. If your child has a long-term project, work with him on breaking the work down into manageable pieces.
If your child is easily overwhelmed, keep a stress-buster tool kit nearby filled with quick and easy activities that can help calm the mind and the body.
Interested in more articles on education and stress? Check these out:
9 Tips to Help Your Child Cope with Stress
Helping the Disorganized Child