How many times have you heard a student say “I can’t do it!” or “It’s too hard?” or “I’m not smart enough?”
Unfortunately, there are some students who really struggle with anxiety about their ability to complete learning, homework or other study tasks. We can call this low academic confidence.
Although many students experience a lack of academic confidence at times, statistically it is more likely to be girls who experience it most frequently – and particular girls who are surrounded by “academically high achieving” peers.
Unfortunately when students don’t believe they are capable of learning something or completing a task – then they are less likely to do so, regardless of their actual level of ability. And a chronic lack of confidence and anxiety about learning is associated with higher levels of stress.
I often talk with families who are really struggling with this issue at homework times. For students who feel highly anxious about their ability to understand ideas and complete tasks, homework can be a nightmare. Parents/caregivers have to reassure, cajole, support and mop up tears – and often get really stressed themselves. Some research on homework has indicated that homework time is the most stressful time of the day for families – with one study showing that mothers daily mood ratings are worse on the days when they spend more time around teens/children who are doing homework.Read More