Make the shift from homework horror time to peaceful learning moments with the family (or at least head in that direction)

Homework time can be very challenging in some homes. Personally, my two kids could not be more different on the issue of homework. My youngest will come home and start homework without being prompted. She completes what she needs to do, studies even when she already knows the material and the test is a few days away, and is running up to me to sign her homework sheet before I’ve even settled in. Her independence with her homework is a huge blessing, because it often takes all the mental and emotional energy I have left from the day to get my oldest through his homework. He is perfectly capable of doing the work, but he does not want to be bothered from his own agenda to do math worksheets, read, or study. Getting him to do the bare minimum had been a struggle almost every single day for a long time. While, it has gotten better over the years, it’s still generally a struggle.

We have finally hit the point that my son will do his 30 minutes of reading and the math worksheet without a fight to get to whatever it is he has mapped out in his mind to do for the evening. However, if any of those math problems are incorrect and he is asked to relook at something or if he is required to study for a quiz or test, I need to brace myself for a potential blowup. I’m thankful that we have learned some tricks over the years to minimize the blowups, but homework time is not perfect harmony in my house every day for sure. I’m not alone in this. Many children have stress over homework because it is challenging and there is a lot of frustration for various reasons. I have talked to many parents who feel frustrated and overwhelmed with how to help during homework time. The following are some ways that have eased tension.homework

Diffusing oils to help during homework time
We have been using essential oils in our home the last few years and seeing noticeable effects. I no longer use candles, plug-ins, or scent warmers in my house. I only diffuse therapeutic grade essential oils that smell amazing, but also have therapeutic properties. Different people will respond to different essential oils, so it does take some trial and error.

I remember the first time I realized the power of diffusing the right essential oils at the right time. One day my son came in agitated and I knew there was a lot of homework that evening. It was apparent that we were in for a long evening of frustration. I put two drops of vetiver and 2 two drops of wild orange in the diffuser and set it on the table beside him while I started dinner. I was shocked to see the tension decrease in his body as he worked on his homework. He continued to work diligently and responded well to corrections that needed to be made. Here are some suggestions to get you started. Also, remember that not all oil brands are the same and I do not recommend going to the store or Amazon to get oils that may have additives and are not therapeutic grade. Email me at and I’ll tell you how I get therapeutic grade essential oils at 25% off retail.

  • If your child is agitated and easily frustrated, try a calming oil such as lavender, roman chamomile, or another type of peaceful blend. Also a grounding oil such as vetiver or frankincense could be helpful.
  •  If your child has trouble focusing, try Vetiver. Preliminary research on essential oils for a common attention disorder has shown promising results. In 2001, Dr. Terry Friedman conducted a study that found Vetiver oil effective in treating children with a common attention disorder. Lavender increased performance by 53%, Cedarwood by 83% and Vetiver by 100%.
  • If your child needs some motivation, a citrus oil could help, such as wild orange or a citrus blend. Also, the smell of peppermint can be uplifting and motivating. Some people mix citrus and peppermint oils.

Setting up a good place

• Children and adolescents need a quiet place away from distractions. It’s hard for them to focus if the television is on or if there are a lot of other distractors. If my daughter finishes her homework quickly, it’s not ok for her to turn the TV on or start up the Wii near where he is working. Also, I wouldn’t suggest having the TV on for myself during that time.
• Materials such as sharpened pencils and paper, should be kept in an available place.
• Consider whether kids should be separated or all in the same area. Find what works best for your family. Maybe it works for you to have all the kids sitting at the table for homework. My kids do better if they are working in separate areas.

Take a look at your role.

• Your attitude helps set the stage. If you are frustrated and tired from work, it’s going to rub off. Do your best to keep your own emotions in check.
• Be available for your child. Try not to hover and take them through step by step. Be nearby, ready to respond if they ask for help.
• Do a check to ensure they finished everything and that items are correct. If not, show them which areas need to be relooked at.
• Be an encourager.
• Set up a routine and expectations.

If you feel that you have tried everything and homework is too big of a struggle, do not hesitate to talk to your child’s teacher. There is usually a compromise that can work for all. Maybe expectations need to be modified. Teachers want the students to come home and spend some time practicing, not spending hours in frustration. Teachers commonly have this conversation with parents.

The information on this page is not intended to treat or cure any disease or disability and medicinal uses of these oils have not been evaluated and approved by the FDA. Many have found them useful in assisting and supporting emotions.

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