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How to ease homework stress

Homework expert says it's okay for parents to tell a school district "enough" if your child is bringing too much work home. 

Is your child's homework causing anxiety in your household?

Wednesday morning on Today in St. Louis, the "Homework Lady" Dr. Cathy Vatterott offered tips to reduce homework stress. Dr. Vatterott is a professor at UMSL and the author of "Rethinking Homework."

Dr. Vatterott travels the country working with school districts on homework and grading guidelines.

"My biggest concern with what we are doing with school is I don't want kids to hate school and I don't want kids to hate learning," Dr. Vatterott said.

Dr. Vatterott's 5 tips to reduce homework stress:

1. Parents, homework is not your job

"Homework is not your job, it's your child's job. It's your child's ability to communicate to the teacher what they know or don't know and we want to lose the guilt associated with this. It doesn't mean you're a bad parent if your child doesn't get their homework done."

2. Monitor your child doing homework but don't hover

"We're used to mandating to kids you have to do it right after school, you have to do it at the kitchen table and you can't have the TV on or whatever and when we empower kids we actually find out we lessen the struggle."

3. Rethink your child's schedule

"A lot of kids are over scheduled and have too much to do... We really need to rethink how kids are stressed out."

4. Protect sleep, downtime and play

"What we're seeing right now in the brain research is kids need downtime, kids need time to play, kids need more sleep. They are almost as sleep deprived as adults and that impact learning."

5. Assert your parental rights to say "enough" to the teacher

"Parents need to know they have the right to say to a school, ‘Enough.’ They have a right to say no to weekend homework, holiday homework, they really do have that right. "

READ MORE: How much homework is too much?

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