When a child feels overwhelmed by homework, it can impact his or her attitude about learning, self-confidence, and/or quality of life.
Not to mention that the whole family often suffers. Tensions at home can rise, parents may feel the need to devote hours they don’t have to monitor or help, and siblings may even feel neglected because one child’s struggle is requiring so much of a parent’s time and energy.
When it feels like a child has too much homework, there may be several reasons why. Naturally, one reason a child can feel overwhelmed with homework is that, indeed, the teacher is assigning too much to comfortably get done in an evening.
The other possibility is that a child is struggling to accomplish a reasonable amount of homework because of one or more weak cognitive skills. These are the foundational skills the brain uses to think, learn, read, remember, pay attention, and solve problems—and if even one of these skills is weak, doing assignments in class or at home can take longer than desired.
Understanding why homework feels overwhelming
The brain’s core cognitive skills are: attention, short-term memory, long-term memory, auditory processing, visual processing, logic & reasoning, and processing speed.
Here are just a few examples of how a weak skill can make homework take longer than desired:
Short-Term Memory (also known as Working Memory): This is the skill that allows a child to remember the things she needs to remember long enough to complete a task. For example, remembering the instructions to an assignment while working on that assignment. If this skill is weak, a child may need to reread instructions over and over in order to complete an assignment.
Logic & Reasoning: This is the skill that allows a child to solve problems, including math problems. If this skill is weak, a child may struggle with how to solve equations, tackle word problems, organize ideas for English papers, and more.
Processing Speed: This is the skill that determines how quickly and efficiently all of the cognitive skills work together. If this skill is weak, everything just takes longer.
Getting to the root of the problem
If your child is struggling with homework, don’t guess. Find out why. There are various cognitive assessments that can reveal exactly how each of your child’s cognitive skills is performing. It’s a detailed snapshot of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and can be invaluable in determining the cause of the struggle, and figuring out the next best step.
Cognitive testing is critical because if the assessment does reveal a cognitive weakness, there is something you can do about it. Cognitive training (also known as brain training) is a science-based method of strengthening weak cognitive skills by using intense mental exercise.
LearningRx Brain Training Centers offer reasonably-priced cognitive skills testing. Click here to find a center near you and schedule an assessment.
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